Student, 19, dies at Frostburg State

A 19-year-old Frostburg State University student from Laurel died Thursday morning, apparently after suffering an asthma attack in the house he rented off campus, state police and family members said yesterday.

John B. Joynt III was pronounced dead at Frostburg Community Hospital about 7 a.m. Thursday. The state medical examiner's office performed an autopsy yesterday but had not determined the cause of death.


Campus officials said Mr. Joynt, who was a sophomore, and several other students had been initiated into the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity in a ceremony in the campus library

Wednesday night.


Later, he and other new pledges began a nightlong ritual in which they raided the rooms of older fraternity members, according to state police. Investigators said they found no indication of impropriety in the fraternity activity, and blood tests showed that Mr. Joynt had not been drinking or using illicit drugs.

But Mr. Joynt complained through the night that he was not feeling well, at one point taking over-the-counter cold medicine. About 4 a.m. he went to bed in his off-campus house, police said.

One of his roommates woke up about 5:30 a.m. when he heard Mr. Joynt gasping for breath. An ambulance was summoned, and Mr. Joynt was pronounced dead at the hospital. The death has saddened the campus, university officials said. A group of students held a vigil Thursday night, and some students have hung large banners around campus to mourn Mr. Joynt's death.

Mr. Joynt was a 1991 graduate of Laurel High School, where he played lacrosse and was a co-captain of the football team.

He is survived by his parents, John B. Joynt Jr. and Mildred H. Joynt, of Laurel. He also is survived by four sisters, Verda M. Mullings, of Germantown, and Vonda M. O'Malley, Nancy C. Joynt and Julie A. Joynt, all of Laurel.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 114 8th St. in Laurel.