It’s been a tough year for Ultra, with headliners pulling out due to emergency surgeries and trampling crowds raising red flags for the authorities across Miami. It’s now taken a sadder turn, as a young Ultra attendee was found dead in a car late Saturday night after attending the festival.
Adonis Pena Escoto, 21, was an avid EDM fan, The Miami New Times reports, and had been hitting sets with friends that night before making his way back to the car to rest up. When his friends returned a few hours later, Escoto was dead, and his family is adamant that Escoto hadn’t been taking drugs.
“We have no idea what happened," says aunt Rosa Escoto to the New Times. "He didn't take drugs. We think maybe someone put something in his drink without him knowing."
The cause of death remains unknown. In a press conference, Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa indicated that questions regarding Escoto’s death won’t be answered anytime soon. "We are still looking into that," he said. "The autopsy is yet to be completed and the toxicology will take probably a few months.”
Escoto isn’t the first festival-related fatality for Ultra. Last year 20-year-old Anthony Cassano overdosed and died at Ultra, while another festival patron drank water that was spiked with antifreeze and wound up in a coma.
At the close of Ultra 2014, the Mayor of Miami, Tomás Regolado, called for a ban on the festival following the trampling of security guard Erica Mack.
“I realize it puts Miami on the map,” he said. “But we don’t want to be showcased as the city of chaos.” Escoto's family agrees. "It is very dangerous for the community, very dangerous," uncle Luis Escoto told NBC News Miami.