MARQUETTE, Mich.—Accidental drowning has been cited as the cause of death of Northern Michigan University redshirt freshman soccer player Arianna Alioto (ALL-ee-AH-toe), according to the autopsy report provided to NMU Public Safety and Police Services by the Marquette County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Alioto, 18 and a native of Columbia, Mo., participated in a practice with her teammates in the university pool at the NMU Sports Complex on Nov. 30. She was later found unresponsive in the pool.
“The autopsy report did confirm what we stated earlier, that there was no physical trauma to the body. However, it did not have any other conclusive findings related to the incident other than that Ms. Alioto’s death was due to drowning and the nature of the incident was accidental. The Marquette County Medical Examiner’s Office is required by state law to investigate all accidental deaths,” said Mike Bath, director of NMU Public Safety and Police Services, which oversaw the investigation.
The police incident report is now considered completed, according to Bath.
“Information gathered through the investigation interviews lead us to believe that Ms. Alioto never left the pool and most likely drowned between 4:45 and 5 p.m.,” said Bath. “No one in the pool or Sports Complex workout areas saw anyone in distress during or at the conclusion of the practice.”
It was approximately 5:35 p.m. (EST) when a student in the second-story workout area, which overlooks the pool, identified the possible drowning situation. According to the police report, Alioto’s teammates were looking for her throughout the complex, hoping to leave together as they had come to practice, when emergency personnel arrived, responding to the 911 call placed by the facility’s employees.
“Arianna’s drowning is a tragedy,” said NMU President David Haynes. “The Alioto family, Arianna’s friends, the Wildcat soccer team and the NMU campus continue to deal with the shock of her death. While the investigation is completed as far as the police report goes, I don’t know yet what kind of changes might come out of our ongoing discussions about the drowning. What I do know at this time is that Arianna Alioto was a wonderful young lady and her loss is felt deeply, both here at NMU and back in her hometown. She is dearly missed.”