Friends and family gathered to remember the life of 18-year old Philip Dhanens in his hometown of Bakersfield on Friday. Fittingly, the Fresno State freshman's funeral was held at Saint Philip Catholic Church.
“In the Christian faith this is a joyous day because we're here to celebrate Philip’s life, but it's also a very somber day for his family, close friends and for the entire community,” said John Fanucchi, President of Garces High School.
The 6’5”, 325 pound teen played football and was voted prom king during his senior year at Garces High School. His former music teacher reflected on the person he was.
“Philip was witty, Philip was talented and Philip was always able to break a tense moment with a joke or smile. His heart was in the right place and people gathered around him and he could have been a great leader,” said Scott Smith, a music teacher.
The Theta Chi fraternity pledge died in the hospital two weekends ago after reportedly drinking two bottles of rum during a party.
Since the tragic event, Fresno State's fraternity chapter recognition has been suspended and police have launched an investigation.
Officers have served a search warrant at the frat house and interviewed close to 50 members. All in an effort to try and get answers as to what contributed to ending this young man's life.
“We all miss Philip very much. We wish he was still here with us and we pray for and with his family,” said Fanucchi.
The coroner is still awaiting results of the toxicology tests being run to determine an official cause of death.