SEOUL — The son of a U.S. soldier died last month of an apparent overdose after drinking heavily and taking Xanax pills at a Yongsan-area apartment, South Korean police said Thursday.

A Yongsan Police Station detective said three other civilians — two women and one man, all adult children of U.S. Forces Korea troops or civilian employees — went out drinking before going to a Munbae-dong officetel, a type of studio apartment, at the end of the night Feb. 20.

They went to sleep and the man, who police did not identify, was dead when they woke up, according to the detective who could not be identified under standing rules. The victim’s age was given as 21 though Koreans typically list ages as a year older than under the American birthdate system.

All four people attended college at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan and had known each other since middle school. Police said one of the three may have been the girlfriend of the deceased.

A Yongsan detective said the three survivors are under investigation, though he did not know if charges might be filed. Because they fall under the Status of Forces Agreement, the detective said officials have asked USFK to become involved in the investigation.

U.S. Forces Korea did not immediately respond to questions about the case. Officials at the Yongsan Police Station, which is handling the case, refused to say why the death was not announced until nearly a month later.

The National Forensic Service in South Korea analyzed hair samples from all four to detect for traces of drugs, the detective said, but he would not disclose the findings.

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Yoo Kyong Chang is a reporter/translator covering the U.S. military from Camp Humphreys, South Korea. She graduated from Korea University and also studied at the University of Akron in Ohio.

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