Members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity chapter at the University of South Carolina are on suspension pending further investigation into the suspicious death of a student, following a party at the frat house on St. Patrick’s Day.
Although authorities are saying that no foul play was involved, they are calling the death of the 18-year-old student suspicious. An autopsy and toxicology report were scheduled for this morning, and it has just been announced by Fox Carolina in their updated report on the death that the Richland County coroner, Gary Watts, has identified the teen as Charles Terreni Jr. of Columbia, South Carolina, who was a freshman at the university.
Although exactly how the death happened has yet to be explained, Watts said there are no signs of traumatic injury on the body. The exact cause of death, however, will take longer to be determined, as the coroner is awaiting the results of the toxicology report.
Once the fraternity’s national office received reports of a member’s death, it released a statement saying that it has placed the South Carolina chapter on administrative suspension, and that the USC chapter has had to cease all activity and operations for the time being. They added that the fraternity was fully cooperating with authorities.
The statement continued, saying “The fraternity’s thoughts and prayers are with the family of this young man and the brothers of Xi Chapter.”
Wes Hickman, spokesperson for the University of South Carolina, also released a statement on behalf of the University.
“There are a lot of rumors out there about the circumstances surrounding the death but at this point the matter remains under investigation, while we await further information we are focused on helping our community grieve and heal.”
Neighbors of the frat house, which is located close to the university, reported that there always seemed to be parties going on at any of the three frat houses on that street. On Wednesday morning, the same morning Terreni’s body was found, there was still a keg visible on the porch of the house in question, as well as St. Patrick Day decorations.
“I would say there are three houses there, and I don’t know who exactly lives in them, but there’s always a frequency of parties going on, at times, there can be a hundred people in that place. Live band in the backyard, which is fine. I mean, some noise, but it doesn’t bother us too much,” said Mehrdad Vejdani, who lives on the same street as the frat house.
The death at the South Carolina chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity isn’t the first in PIKE (as Pi Kappa Alpha is also known) history. In 2012, a 19-year-old died after a night of drinking at the Northern Illinois University chapter.
[Image Credit: The Daily Mail]