Caitlyn Kovacs, a 19-year-old School of Environmental and Biological Sciences sophomore, was pronounced dead at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at 3:19 a.m. Sunday morning, after passing out at a fraternity house.
The alleged cause of Kovacs’ death appears to be alcohol-related, but the official cause of death will not be released until an autopsy is completed by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Kovacs, a South Brunswick High School graduate, was at a “small gathering” at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house, located at 78 College Ave. She was then transported to the hospital by friends around 3 a.m. when Kovacs, a Monmouth Junction resident, “appeared to be in distress,” according to a statement from Andrew Carey, prosecutor at the New Brunswick Prosecutor’s Office.
The police were called to investigate Kovacs’ death at 3:28 a.m., after hospital staff alerted them of the death.
The investigation is being spearheaded by Lt. Paul Fischer at the Rutgers University Police Department, Ken Abode, detective at the New Brunswick Police Department and Jeffrey Temple, detective at the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
Police officers stood on the porch of the DKE house mid-morning today, with fraternity brothers sitting clustered towards the side of the property.
Law enforcement personnel and a brother of DKE fraternity declined to comment on the incident.
“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,” said President Robert L. Barchi via email.
Anyone with information is asked to call Lt. Fischer of the Rutgers University Police Department at (848) 932-8025, Detective Abode of the New Brunswick Police Department at (732) 745-5217, or Detective Temple of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-3300.