updated 12/07/2011 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 12/08/2011 AT 11:30 AM ET
Though reports claim the death of Rita Hayworth’s grandson appears to be a suicide, a friend of Andrew Embiricos does not believe he killed himself.
“The reports are not true,” Jake Dingler tells PEOPLE of speculation his friend – who was found dead Sunday in his New York City apartment in bed with a plastic bag over his head – committed suicide.
“I spent the last eight hours of his life with him and he was very happy and looking forward to all of the events coming up,” Dingler says. “We were going to Amsterdam on Friday for his 26th birthday. We were having brunch with his mother the following morning and we had a lot of great things to look forward to.”