The University of Colorado student whose body was pulled from Boulder Creek earlier this year died from head injuries sustained during a fall after a night of drinking, according to the Boulder County Coroner's Office.

Khalid Rafee, 21, was found facedown and not moving in the creek near Arapahoe Avenue and 13th Street on Feb. 9. He was pronounced dead at the hospital after attempts to revive him at the scene were unsuccessful.

In an autopsy report, forensic pathologist Meredith Frank ruled that Rafee died due to blunt-force head injuries, with drowning and environmental exposure also being listed as "significant contributing conditions."

The manner of death was ruled an accident.

Rafee was found in about a foot of water, and the autopsy report noted that water and sandy debris was found in his stomach. He also had early signs of frostbite on his extremities.

The National Weather Service noted the overnight low in Boulder was about 12 degrees that night.

According to the autopsy report, witnesses in the area had seen a man "stumbling and falling" near the creek at about 2 or 3 a.m. the morning before he was found.

The autopsy report noted that a wall upstream from where Rafee was found as well as a bridge along Arapahoe Avenue very close to where he was found were both possible places from where Rafee may have fallen into the creek.


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A toxicology report showed that Rafee had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.129, and also had traces of THC in his system.

Police noted when he was first found that Rafee had been at the Pop-Up Bar, 1109 Walnut St., at about 1:15 a.m. the morning before his body discovered.

Rafee was from Saudi Arabia and began attending CU in 2017 as a mechanical engineering major, according to the school.

Mitchell Byars: 303-473-1329, byarsm@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/mitchellbyars