Radford Freshman Aris Lobo-Perez Found Dead in Jail

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By: Jeremy Moser | jmoser9@radford.edu

Radford Freshman Aris Eduardo Lobo-Perez was found unresponsive in New River Valley Regional Jail Thursday morning.

He was arrested the night before, just before midnight, for public intoxication or public swearing by the Radford University Police Department, according to the jail superintendent, Gregory Winston.

Jail personnel found him unresponsive in his cell around 7:50 a.m. Medical staff at the jail called EMS responders who attempted to resuscitate Lobo-Perez but were unable. He was pronounced dead and taken to the coroner for an autopsy. 

18-year-old Lobo-Perez was from Culpeper, VA, about three hours from Radford, and was studying Sports Management at Radford University. He spent less than four weeks at Radford before his death. 

In honor of who we grew up with, who we laughed with, who we shared our lives with, and who we currently cry for, wish for any donations to help cover the cost of any future services in honor of his memory.

Few details have been released regarding the freshman’s passing, but Corrine Geller of the Virginia State Police was able to confirm that the Bureau of Criminal Investigation Wytheville Field Office is investigating Lobo-Perez’s death. This is the first reported death at the Dublin, VA jail since 2016.

Vice President for Student Affairs Susan Trageser sent a mass email to Radford students notifying them of Lobo-Perez’s death. The email contained a message of condolences.

“I know you join me in extending our deepest sympathy to Aris’ family and friends at this very difficult time,” Trageser ended the message. 

Photo credit: (Perez family) 18-year-old Aris Lobo-Perez spent less than four weeks at Radford.

His family in Culpeper arranged a yard sale to raise money for his funeral. Victoria Garcia and Alma Hernandez organized a GoFundMe page to raise funds as well. 

The description they wrote reads, “In honor of who we grew up with, who we laughed with, who we shared our lives with, and who we currently cry for, wish for any donations to help cover the cost of any future services in honor of his memory.”

Friends of Lobo-Perez and his family have raised over $10 thousand in donations. With each contribution comes a heartfelt message. 

Judith Kimble gave $100 and wrote, “Aris I will always remember your beautiful smile and your funny ways that always made me laugh.” 

Lobo-Perez’s soccer coach, John Cooke, donated $50 and recalled the young athlete’s ambitions. 

“I will always remember him telling me, “Coach, I’m gonna take you to the championship game”, referring to the league spring tournament,” Cooke wrote. “If my memory serves, he scored all but one or two of the goals and we played in championship game, losing to the team who hadn’t lost all season. Rest in peace Aris.”

Friends and supporting students arranged a vigil outside of Muse Hall on Radford’s campus. Dozens of students gathered in the twilit shadow of Muse Hall in remembrance of their friend. 

The University has provided grief counselors for students affected by the tragedy.

The Perez family will have a funeral service Saturday, Sept. 21 in Culpeper. 

The Tartan will run follow-up stories about Lobo-Perez as new details are revealed.

Photo Credit: (Perez family)