A Green River College international student died in Auburn, and evidence points to alcohol poisoning.

Share story

Auburn police are investigating the death last week of a 17-year-old Green River College student from China, and evidence suggests he died of alcohol poisoning, Auburn police say.

The student, Yang Chen, died Feb. 19 at a house near the college that he was renting with several other Chinese students, said police Cmdr. Steve Stocker.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting an investigation and expects to have results in six to 10 weeks.

Stocker said there was evidence that the students were drinking heavily at the time of Chen’s death.

Because supplying alcohol to a minor is a crime, police are trying to determine where the alcohol came from, Stocker said. He said there is no evidence of foul play.

Ross Jennings, vice president of international programs and extended learning at the college, said he did not have an immediate response because he was assisting the family of the student.

Green River College has one of the largest international student enrollments of any of the state’s community colleges. Representatives of the Auburn school make visits to China to recruit students, promoting the school as an economical way to learn English and gain admission to a four-year American university.