A Rutgers University sophomore died on Sunday morning in what may be a disturbing case. The Associated Press reports 19-year-old Rutgers student Caitlyn Kovacs died after attending a frat gathering at the Delta Kappa Epsilon house near the university's New Brunswick campus. Kovacs was taken to the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick early Sunday morning at the behest of her friends, who said Kovacs "became distressed" at the frat house. She was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.
Although the cause of death has yet to be determined, authorities believe it may be alcohol-related. However, they won't know for sure until an autopsy is completed.
Middlesex County prosecutors, along with Rutgers and New Brunswick police, have already begun investigating Kovacs' death. A spokesperson for the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office told NJ.com that charges aren't expected to be filed in the case just yet.
The details of Kovacs' state remain unclear. While The AP and NJ.com report Kovacs was "distressed" or appeared "to be in distress," Rutgers' student newspaper The Daily Targum states Kovacs passed out at the Delta Kappa Epsilon house. Given the unusual circumstances surrounding her death, the hospital notified the police just 10 minutes after she died.
The Daily Targum added that police were lingering on the front lawn of Delta Kappa Epsilon's College Avenue house Sunday afternoon.
Rutgers University President Robert Barchi released this statement on Sunday:
We are deeply saddened to report the passing of Caitlyn Kovacs, a sophomore at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, majoring in animal sciences. Her passing over the weekend is a tragic loss to her family, her friends, and the entire Rutgers community. ... This is a time, too, when we need to reach out to one another and show our love, support, and compassion. This is a time to let each other know that we care and to share our strength and understanding with those in need so that we come through this tragedy with a deeper commitment to each member of the Rutgers community.
Members of the Rutgers' Delta Kappa Epsilon chapter declined to comment on Kovacs' death, but the international organization extended their condolences to Kovacs' family and friends. Doug Lanpher, executive director of Delta Kappa Epsilon International, added that the fraternity is "fully cooperating" with authorities.
Delta Kappa Epsilon is one of the oldest fraternities in America — and one of the most controversial. The frat was recently handed a five-year suspension from Yale University for yelling "No means yes! Yes means anal!" throughout the campus.
Delta Kappa Epsilon was also banned from Colgate University in 1989 for its dangerous hazing activities. In 2005, Colgate once again barred the frat from campus.
Images: slgckgc/Flickr, Caitlyn Kovacs/Facebook