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Family of Deceased Berkeley Alum Tries to Make Sense of His Death

The 23-year-old Cal graduate was "smart, popular and extremely driven."

Elgin Stafford is the not far from his family's home, according to the Contra Costa Times.

On March 20, Stafford had stayed up late talking to his parents, who immigrated to the US from Sierra Leone. Stafford's parents said he’d been acting erratically. Early that morning, he ran out of his “home barefoot and never came back,” said the Contra Costa Times.

“His family, members of his church, friends and even local politicians searched everywhere they imagined,” Contra Costa Times reported, but Stafford was nowhere to be found.

Sheriff's homicide Lt. Eddie Hernandez said investigators “do not suspect any criminal activity or foul play in Stafford's death.” An autopsy could not determine the cause of death.

Stafford’s close-knit family is trying to make sense of what happened and why.

His older sister said, "I'm just so hurt. My kids are in love with him. His smile…his embrace,."

Stafford had a great love for travel and learning about other cultures.

"He loved Japanese culture,” said his mother, Annie Stafford according to the Contra Costa Times. “I said Elgin, you're a black kid, why are you listening to Japanese music?"

Stafford wanted to “work in a foreign embassy.” But he had recently been suffering from anxiety and panic attacks, the Contra Costa Times reported. Instead of taking the medication he was prescribed, Stafford was trying to “overcome his problems naturally through yoga and meditation.”

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