To get justice for Antonio and his family, we need your help.
Antonio was a freshman at Cornell when his body was found at the bottom of Fall Creek Gorge on October 26th, 2019. He was the son of John Tsialas and Flavia Tomasello and had a younger brother and sister.
His death devastated the family.
Antonio was from Miami where he graduated from Ransom Everglades High School in May 2019. He was a captain of the soccer team, a member of the school's very competitive math team, and a community volunteer. He had outstanding grades.
In his short time at Cornell, Antonio made a big impression on his fellow students. He was well liked and respected by many.
The Last Time She Saw Her Son
On October 24, 2019, Antonio Tsialas met with his mom for dinner at a Thai restaurant near Cornell, where he had just started classes as a freshman. It was Parents Weekend, and Antonio’s parents were excited to spend time with their son at his new school. His mother arrived on Thursday and Antonio’s father was due to arrive the next day.
Over dinner on that final night, it was clear that Antonio was doing well: he was enjoying his classes, making friends, and relishing campus life. He was like many other 18-year-olds attending their dream school. After dinner, Antonio kissed his mother good-bye, ordered a Lyft back to campus and told her he would meet her at 11 am the next day at the Cornell bookstore. It was the last time she would ever see her son.
Antonio never showed up at the bookstore and after several hours of trying to locate him his mother started to get very concerned. Antonio’s father, who had just arrived from Miami expecting to rendezvous with both of them, accompanied his wife to the Cornell police station to ask for their help.
The following day, after a massive search that included police drones, Antonio’s body was found at the bottom of Fall Creek Gorge. A subsequent autopsy determined Antonio died of blunt force trauma and acute alcohol intoxication. Antonio was still wearing the clothes he had on when his mother had dinner with him two days earlier and his wallet was in his pocket but his cell phone was missing. Its last known location was the Phi Kappa Psi house where he attended the “dirty rush” event on that Thursday night.
Antonio’s death remains shrouded in mystery, but the circumstances of his death indicate that someone knows what happened.
What Happened Before Antonio's Death
It was later discovered that Antonio left dinner with his mom to attend a secret “dirty rush” event hosted by Phi Kappa Psi. The event, a fraternity tradition called “Christmas in October,” required freshmen to drink large amounts of different types of alcohol in a two hour time period in different themed rooms.
We know that Antonio attended that event and drank the alcohol and was hazed along with the others.
Rides were provided to the event, but there were no arrangements to ensure that the drunk freshmen got back to their dorms safely.
Everyone was left to fend for themselves.
We do not know what happened to Antonio.
We do not know what time he left the party. We don't know whether he left alone or with others. We also have no idea why his body was found where it was. The area of Fall Creek Gorge where the drone spotted his body is remote, is pitch dark at night, is not an area where Antonio had ever been before. It was also not on the route that one would take from the fraternity house to Antonio’s dormitory.
We believe that there is a high probability that one or more people accompanied Antonio to that location. Antonio’s family is desperate to speak to whoever knows what happened to him.
"If you are ever asked, you were never here. No phones. No video. No photographs.” - Phi Kappa Psi instructions to Antonio and the 30 other freshmen who were at the dirty rush event
What Happened to Antonio?
This month marks the one-year anniversary of Antonio’s death, and we still do not know how or why he died. We know for certain that he spent several hours at the Phi Kappa Psi hazing event but no one has come forward to tell us what happened to Antonio after he left the fraternity house that night.
The purpose of this website is to get information and nothing more.
Someone knows what happened to him and why his body was found at the bottom of Fall Creek Gorge. If you have that information or know someone who does, please contact us either directly or anonymously using the “reply” button on this website. Thank you!
Meanwhile, there are many other things we do not know, including:
- Why did Antonio leave the party when he did?
- Did he leave on foot or was he driven by someone?
- Who did he leave with?
- Did he die where they found his body or someplace else?
- How did he know how to get to the location where his body was found?
- Who had his cell phone after Antonio left the fraternity house?
- What happened to his cell phone? Was it disposed of or does someone still have it?
Uncovering the Truth of Antonio’s Death
In their fight for answers, Antonio's parents are up against a culture of silence and an army of lawyers who have been hired by everyone involved that night. Not a single person has come forward with the information regarding how or why Antonio died and it has been one year since his death. Everything we know about Antonio’s final hours has come to light thanks to anonymous tips, brave students, and independent investigation.
In the end, finding out who last saw Antonio alive will require the help of students, friends, and eyewitnesses. That’s why we need you.
Antonio died the night of the Phi Kappa Psi party.
He was found at Fall Creek Gorge in the same clothing he wore on Friday.
Antonio was not mugged.
His wallet was found on his body. Only his phone was missing.
Antonio died from blunt force trauma.
He did not die from alcohol poisoning or drowning.
Phi Kappa Psi has a secretive culture.Phi Kappa Psi has a history of rule violations and alcohol abuse. It promotes a culture of secrecy around its traditions and recruitment.
In October 2020, one year after Antonio’s death, Cornell revoked recognition of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and banned it from operating on the campus. The reasons for the decision all had to do with the “Christmas in October” dirty rush event that the fraternity organized. Their report cited the fact that Phi Kappa Psi was barred from organizing events when they planned the October party, but they went ahead and did it anyway. Cornell also cited the fraternity's egregious abuse of alcohol, as well as the vomiting, disorientation, and loss of consciousness experienced by the young freshmen.