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Official: No Foul Play Suspected in Death of Coast Guardsman

Coast Guard response boats are moored to the pier at Training Center Yorktown Nov. 12, 2011. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn)
Coast Guard response boats are moored to the pier at Training Center Yorktown Nov. 12, 2011. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn)

A Coast Guardsman who died Monday after being found unresponsive in his barracks room at the Yorktown training center suffered from a pre-existing condition, according to a Coast Guard official.

Lt. Natalie Bernadt, a spokeswoman for the training center's external affairs office, said the condition, which she did not disclose, is believed to be related to Lt. junior grade Devin Hepner's death.

Bernadt said the official cause of death is under investigation and foul play is not suspected.

Hepner, 34, was found unresponsive in his barracks room Monday and was taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital where he died, the release states.

Hepner was attending an Investigating Officer Course in Yorktown and was stationed at Astoria, Ore.

"We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss," said Capt. Jay Vann, commanding officer of Training Center Yorktown, in the news release. "We only got to know Devin a short time, but his passing will be felt by many."

"The loss of Devin comes as a great shock to us," said Capt. Tom Griffitts, commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Portland. "He was a seasoned Coast Guard officer who leaves behind a legacy of service protecting lives on our waterways."

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