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LOS ANGELES

Two College Students Drown

September 11, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

Two college students drowned in heavy surf off Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey late Monday night despite the efforts of police officers who pulled them from the waves and performed CPR.

Kenitha Saafir, 24, of Compton and Kristin High, 22, of Los Angeles, both seniors at Cal State Los Angeles, were at the beach with a group of other women when they were swept under, police said.

High's family said Tuesday that they believe that the young mother died after a sorority hazing ritual. But police said they had no evidence to support that notion.

"This is a rite of passage that turned into a rite of death," said Holman Arthurs, 25, High's fiance and the father of their 2-year-old son. "They were blindfolded. This is a hazing stunt gone bad."

But police said Tuesday that they were investigating the deaths as accidental drownings. "No one was blindfolded. No one was tied up," said Officer Jason Lee.

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