On Nov. 1, Prep Rally brought you news of the tragic passing of Griffen Kramer, a quarterback at Thousand Oaks (Calif.) High and the son of former NFL star Erik Kramer. Now, the teen's passing is beginning to appear even more tragic than originally believed after at least five people were arrested on Thursday in connection with the teenager's death, including a 19-year-old man accused of abandoning an unresponsive Griffen Kramer in his own home when the quarterback needed him most.
As first reported by KTLA-TV in Los Angeles, of the individuals cited with various counts related to Kramer's death, 19-year-old David Nernberg has been most directly linked, charged with suspicion of involuntary manslaughter. While Kramer's official autopsy failed to discover a conclusive cause of death, investigators are convinced that a drug overdose was involved in his passing, with heroin a likely narcotic culprit.
Here's how KTLA described the latest findings from detectives:
The night before Kramer was pronounced dead, detectives told KTLA that Nernberg was partying with Kramer at a park and at some point, Kramer became unconscious and was in need of medical attention.
Authorities say that's when Nernberg put Kramer into his car and started driving around, calling his friends and asked what he should do.
Eventually, Nernberg took Kramer to his house, dragged his body inside and left him there until the following morning where he was found dead.
That Kramer's death appears to have come from a drug overdose is particularly trying for the teen's family, which had watched their son overcome substance abuse before transferring to Thousand Oaks. The teen spent part of his sophomore year in a rehab center and had credited his love of football as giving him hope for a better future.
"If it wasn't for football, I might have fallen into the rabbit hole and not make it back out," Kramer told KTLA in a previous story.
Now, he's gone, and the more details that come out about his final hours, the more troubling his loss becomes.
For anyone to ply a recovering drug addict with narcotics is a sinister crime in itself. To then drop off his body at a house and wait for someone to discover him -- when he could have been taken to a hospital and, potentially, saved -- is despicable.
None of that can help bring Kramer back, though the people he left behind hope that the teen's tragic end can help others get help and avoid the crippling addictions that apparently eventually claimed his life.
"This isn't a road to go down... It never ends well," Thousand Oaks football coach Mike Leivin told KTLA. "Making the right decisions, making good choices, and more importantly, being there for your friends and supporting your friends when they're in trouble ... It can save a life."