Whitecaps star questioned by Peruvian police in volleyball player's death

Vancouver Whitecaps star striker Yordy Reyna has been questioned by police — along with others he was allegedly with — the night a 16-year-old volleyball player died in Peru.

Alessandro Chocano died on Sunday in an apartment in Miraflores, according to family

Vancouver Whitecaps' Yordy Reyna, left, tries to move the ball past New York City FC's Alexander Callens in a July game. He's become the centre of a media frenzy in Peru after a teen volleyball player's death. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Vancouver Whitecaps star striker Yordy Reyna has been questioned by police in his native Peru along with others he was allegedly with the night a 16-year-old volleyball player was found dead. 

Peruvian police are investigating the Sunday death of Alessandra Chocano, a member of the junior national women's volleyball team.

The death sparked a media frenzy and left the teen's family in mourning, but it's unclear what connection Reyna had, if any, to the young woman.

Alessandra Chocano was a star on the women's junior national volleyball team in Peru before her death on Nov. 19. (Alessandra Chocano/Facebook)

Peruvian media reports say the group connected at a nightclub and ended up back at an apartment where Chocano died. None of the media reports — which quote a Peruvian police report — suggest that he was in the room when she allegedly collapsed.

Lima newspapers say the young woman was found on the floor and friends tried to revive her but she was taken to hospital and pronounced dead. The president of the Peruvian volleyball federation has said that Chocano is believed to have died from a cerebral and pulmonary edema, an accumulation of fluid in the brain and lungs. 

Peruvian news media reported that Reyna spent several hours speaking with investigators at a police station on Tuesday.

On his official website, Reyna posted his frustration with media coverage surrounding the death, which he says is focused on him as a star soccer player despite the fact he says there were other people in the apartment where the teen died.

"I hope you can solve the case and get the whole truth out. I will support everything with justice," read a post translated from Spanish on Reyna's official website, which was followed by dozens of comments, many of support.

The Whitecaps have said the player is co-operating with the investigation.

"First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family and friends of Alessandra Chocano," the Whitecaps club wrote in an emailed statement.

Reyna confirmed to the MLS club that he was indeed "one of several people" at the same party as Alessandra Chocano on Sunday.

"He has proactively reached out to authorities to provide them with any information which may be helpful to their investigation.Our sympathies go out to the Chocano family."

Family of Alessandra Chocano posted this image in her memory after she died on Sunday. (Facebook)

About the Author

Yvette Brend

Yvette Brend is a CBC Vancouver journalist. Yvette.Brend@CBC.ca @ybrend