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U of M student found dead at frat house was valedictorian at his South Dakota high school

Dylan Fulton, 20, died at his fraternity house in St. Paul on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. The University of Minnesota student was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho, an agriculture fraternity. Courtesy of the Fulton family via St. Paul Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL—What happened to 20-year-old Dylan Fulton, who died at his fraternity house in St. Paul on Wednesday, could have happened to anyone, his family said Thursday.

"It is with a very heavy heart that I share this but I want people to know the real Dylan and not let this horrific, unimaginable tragedy define the man Dylan truly was," Fulton's family said in a statement. "This could have been anyone's son/brother/grandson/nephew/cousin.....GOOD KID."

Fulton, who was from a small town in central South Dakota, was valedictorian of the Miller High School class of 2017.

He had a 4.0 GPA throughout his educational career, which he maintained at the University of Minnesota and made the dean's list, his family said. He received a full scholarship to attend the U, where he was a sophomore.

St. Paul police were called to the Alpha Gamma Rho house about 5 a.m. Wednesday after Fulton's fraternity brothers found him unresponsive. The fraternity is located on Carter Avenue, which is near the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus.

Alcohol may have played a role in Fulton's death, but that will be determined by the autopsy, according to police. Investigators found no indication of foul play.

Fulton was from south of St. Lawrence, S.D. and grew up on a family farm. He was pursuing a degree in animal science with a beef production emphasis, according to Alpha Gamma Rho's local website. He was also a member of the U's Gopher Daily Club.

"Dylan was a hard working, responsible, peace making, animal loving, family oriented, fun-loving, witty goofball!!," his family said in their statement. "He had an infectious personality."

Fulton was also "a leader and was respected and looked up to by many," his family said.

He was an officer in Alpha Gamma Rho, an agriculture fraternity, and was active in various groups throughout high school, including the Future Farmers of America.

Fulton also directed plays and participated them, and was involved in sports and rodeo. "He would often step up and motivate the crowd in supporting the team," his family said.

Fulton loved spending time with his family, especially his cousins. He is survived by his parents, Paul and Kayleen Fulton, and siblings, Wyatt, Mackayln and Jenna.

His family asked people to keep them in their prayers and they expressed their love for Dylan.

"Dylan will be missed and we hope that nothing like this ever happens to your loved ones," Fulton's family said.

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