Friends of 21-year-old college student Anthony Robert Erick of Wellington told Miami Beach police he was drinking vodka and doing drugs before he was found dead outside The Flamingo Towers apartments during spring break, according to a police report released Tuesday.
Erick’s death was ruled accidental by the Miami Dade Medical Examiner and was due to blunt force trauma, according to the report.
The investigation revealed that before he died, Erick had been drinking with his friends and using illegal drugs such as marijuana and MDMA, which is commonly known as Ecstasy, according to the report.
While no one reported seeing him fall, the report concluded that Erick left the high rise apartment at 1500 Bay Road at about 10 p.m. March 22, walked to the west side of the building and was able to climb the exterior of the building via the west emergency stairwell.
Erick fell to his death and the medical examiner determined he fell from five stories or higher, the report stated. He was last seen on the 15th floor by his friends and the investigation revealed no signs of foul play, according to the report.
Erick’s body was found at 9:06 a.m. March 23 and his friends later approached police at the scene wishing to report him missing, according to the report.
One of the friends, Edward Coleman, said that Erick had broken up with his girlfriend and needed a place to stay before returning to Columbus, where Erick attended The Ohio State University.
Coleman told police that Erick came to stay with him and other friends at the high rise on March 22 and was using illicit drugs and was drinking “lots of alcohol.”
He told police that Erick “drank vodka and smoked marijuana along with pills and mushrooms,” according to the report.
Coleman said he and Erick two other friends, Phillip Anthony Storage Jr. and Srikant Vivek Dhanireddly, began drinking and consuming drugs at about 8 p.m. March 22.
He said they left the building “to party” at about 10 p.m., but noticed Erick was not in the elevator with them.
Coleman said they all went back into the apartment and looked for Erick but could not find him.
Coleman told detectives he last saw Erick leave the apartment at about 9 p.m. and walk westbound toward the emergency stairwell, but he lost sight of him at the end of the hallway.
Coleman said that the emergency stairwell led from the 15th floor to the first floor and that there was an opening to the exterior of the building where a decorative ledge runs along the west side of the building connecting to the exterior balconies.
Erick’s body was found directly below the balconies of the northwest corner apartments, the report stated.
Coleman told police he had known Erick about a year and never knew him to be depressed or emotionally unstable.
MDMA, or Ecstasy, is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that is chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. It produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth, and distortions in time, perception and tactile experiences.
Erick, a chemical engineering student at OSU, was expected to graduate this year.
His mother, Christina Fortier, declined to comment Tuesday on the report.
Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.