A Rutgers University student died Sunday after attending a party at a frat house and authorities believe her death may be alcohol-related.
NBC New York reports that Caitlyn Kovacs, a 19-year-old sophomore, was taken to the hospital around 3 a.m Sunday morning by friends after she appeared to be in distress and passed out during a small party at the Delta Kappa Epsilon frat house. She was pronounced dead upon arrival.
University President Bob Barchi said in a statement, “Her passing over the weekend is a tragic loss to her family, her friends, and the entire Rutger’s community.”
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital officials called the police, and Kovacs’s death is now under investigation by Rutgers, the New Brunswick police department, and the prosecutor’s office.
A spokesperson for the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s office told NJ.com that no charges have been filed at this time.
The preliminary investigation into the death has determined it is possibly alcohol-related, but autopsy results are pending. Police have interviewed witnesses and fraternity members, who have been cooperative in the investigation, according to Travelers Today.
This is the second major investigation into a frat party involving alcohol or drugs in the past week. The Inquisitr previously reported about a Wisconsin fraternity that was suspended under suspicion of slipping date rape drugs into alcoholic drinks.
The fraternity has offered their condolences on its official Facebook page, and DKE International Executive Director Doug Laphner has issued a statement.
“As the investigation of the incident is ongoing, Delta Kappa Epsilon is fully cooperating with local and county authorities,” Laphner said.
Kovacs, an animal science major, was described by friends and classmates as very energetic and upbeat. A former high-school classmate, Melissa Mielko, said, “She was always laughing and making others laughs and smile as well. She was a good kid with a good head on her shoulders.”
“She had a lot of energy and always had a smile on her face,” a longtime friend said of Kovacs. “She was always happy and fun to be around.”
Kovacs, who worked at a pet-sitting business called Beg ‘n Bark over the summer, was also remembered fondly by the business’s owner, Brenda Jenner. Jenner said that the Rutgers student was a good employee who wasn’t the type to get into trouble, a hard worker, and conscientious. Jenner said that some of Kovacs’ former clients had been calling the business, expressing shock over her death.
Caitlyn Kovacs died after attending a small gathering at a fraternity
Caitlyn Kovacs’ profile on the Beg ‘n Bark website reflected her love of animals.
“I hope to live my life being a voice for those who do not have one, and it gives me such satisfaction to be there for your companions! I can truly ensure that any animal left in my care will be treated as though they are my own. To include providing all the love and attention given by their own family.”
“She was a very nice girl, a very smart girl, always happy, bubbly, and had a lot of energy,” Jenner said. “She was very positive. You could tell she enjoyed doing what she was doing. She had a passion for it.”
[Image via Pinterest]