Police: Death of JMU student in February due to 'poppy tea'

Published: Feb. 24, 2016 at 12:53 PM EST
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UPDATE (Nov. 30):

Months after the death of Steven Austin Underhill at a JMU fraternity house, Harrisonburg police have confirmed that he died accidentally from an overdose of opioids.

According to the toxicology report, which took time to process, Underhill had a high dosage of opioids in his system that came from 'poppy


Following Underhill's death in February, the Harrisonburg Police Department warned the public about poppy tea, which is made from commonly available household products, including poppy seeds.

You can learn more from the initial report below.


A 21-year-old James Madison University student died on Sunday at a fraternity house in Harrisonburg.

Steven Austin Underhill, who went by Austin, is a brother of Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) and was a junior engineering major with a math minor from Fredericksburg.

His death happened at 715 South Main Street

[ map ]

, which is also known as the Gingerbread House, which is used by FIJI. In late 2015, WHSV reported

[ here ]

on another FIJI-related incident.

Harrisonburg police are investigating the cause of death and have not ruled out a drug called poppy tea; however, they are still waiting for the toxicology report.

Police say that Underhill's death prompted them to send a press release about poppy tea, which is made from commonly available household products, including poppy seeds

[ info ].

In Fredericksburg, the family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday at Covenant Funeral Service. Also, a service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday at Chancellor Baptist Church with Pastor Eric Goforth officiating. Interment will follow in Oak Hill Cemetery.

A fellow brother of Phi Gamma Delta, Austin Zymroz, created a GoFundMe page

[ here ]

to help Underhill's family. An Austin Underhill Memorial Fund has also been created on Tilt

[ here ].

JMU's FIJI chapter also posted a link to the GoFundMe page on Facebook.

The brothers of Phi Gamma Delta mourn the loss of our brother Austin Underhill. Our deepest sympathies go out to his...

Posted by FIJI - PHI GAMMA DELTA - JMU on Tuesday, February 23, 2016