University of Minnesota fraternity house death is under investigation

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University of Minnesota fraternity house death is under investigation

University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota

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MINNEAPOLIS — Police are investigating the death of a University of Minnesota sophomore found Wednesday morning in the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity house near the St. Paul campus.

Police spokesman Steve Linders said authorities do not believe foul play was involved, nor do they believe it was caused by hazing or initiation practices. But alcohol could be a factor pending autopsy results, he added.

The 20-year-old man’s identity has not been released, but the fraternity’s national office said he was a sophomore at the university.

Local fraternity leaders notified campus police and local authorities “immediately after fraternity members discovered the young man was medically unresponsive this morning,” said a written statement from the national office in Kansas City, Mo.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones, as well as to our brothers in the University of Minnesota chapter,” said Rex Martin, CEO of Alpha Gamma Rho.

University of Minnesota Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Maggie Towle confirmed that the man was a student, but shared no other details.

“We are saddened to learn of the death of one of our students,” she said in a written statement. “The Saint Paul Police Department is leading the investigation of this death. They will handle any related questions.”

Police were called about 5 a.m. to the fraternity house in the 2000 block of Carter Avenue. Police found the man dead in the home. Linders said he was unsure exactly where the man was located inside.

Residents reported last seeing the man alive about 1 a.m. Linders said it’s unclear whether the man lived in the house. About 10 residents of the house were questioned at police headquarters and are cooperating.

Homicide detectives are investigating the case because the man was “seemingly healthy” before being found, Linders said.

The fraternity deferred comment to the national office. The group describes itself on a university Greek website as “the premier social and professional food, agricultural and natural resource sciences fraternity” at the university.

“We pride ourselves in being the highest quality fraternity through our excellence in academics, athletics, and making better men,” the website said. “Get the best of both campuses and live in a $2.5 million brand new house!”

The fraternity reported a membership of 30.

The university’s Interfraternity Council (IFC), the governing body for 30 fraternities with more than 1,500 men, including Alpha Gamma Rho, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Several hours after the man’s body was found, the IFC’s Facebook page shared a post that said: “Today is #myFraternity Social Media Day! Share your story of fraternity experience with over 4 million other brothers by using #myFaternity.”

Fall “rush,” or, recruitment for university fraternities, was last week, ending with hopefuls making personal visits to Greek organizations of their liking, and fraternities extending membership invitations as early as Thursday, according to the IFC’s website.

The university urged anyone needing support and counseling to contact Boynton Health or Student Counseling Services for assistance.

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