Ariz. police still looking into fall

By Tim Weideman

Tempe police have made progress in their investigation of the death of former Manhattan High student body president Naomi McClendon, but how she received the alcohol contributing to her death remains unclear.

McClendon, 18, early Sunday morning fell from a 10th-floor balcony of a privately owned student housing apartment complex near the campus of Arizona State University, where she was a freshman studying nonprofit leadership and management. She was treated at the scene and later died at a hospital.

Sgt. Michael Pooley, a police spokesperson, on Thursday said McClendon was out drinking with other people that night before she returned to the apartment building.

“We’re trying to figure out who provided the alcohol to her,” he said. “We know where she was drinking and who she was drinking with, but we’re trying to figure out a few things.”

Pooley said the department was expected to release an update on the investigation Thursday afternoon.

“Basically, we’ve gotten a lot of people (to) come forward, saying, you know, she was unstable on her feet, she was very intoxicated,” he said. “We have video surveillance of her falling over. I mean, we have surveillance video of pretty much her entire time she was in that apartment.”

Police continue to look into whether or not someone could face criminal charges for providing alcohol to McClendon, Pooley said.

Police also are not yet certain how much alcohol McClendon may have consumed.

“We’re waiting on toxicology (reports),” Pooley said. “That’ll give us her blood alcohol content .”

At the time of her fall, McClendon was alone on the balcony, police said. Pooley added that no one was in the apartment when she fell and that she didn’t live in the complex.

Naomi was the daughter of Nate McClendon, director of orchestras at MHS, and Judy McClendon, a teacher in the school’s language arts department. Naomi was active in several activities at the high school.

Funeral services for McClendon have been scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at Westview Community Church. A candlelight vigil organized by MHS students will start at 5 p.m. Sunday at City Park.

Friends of McClendon also are raising money on, a crowd-funding website, to help with burial and services costs.

The page can be found on the website by searching for Naomi McClendon’s name. As of Thursday morning, $4,357 had been raised.

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