Rutgers University student death at gathering at fraternity house ruled an accident

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Rutgers student?s death ruled an accident by Middlesex co. prosecutor (WABC)

Officials said the death of a sophomore at Rutgers University was an accident.

Caitlyn Kovacs, 19, died in September after attending a house party in New Brunswick. The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office said she died from alcohol poisoning. Police are continuing the investigation into her death.

Police said Kovacs of South Brunswick appeared to be in distress after attending a small party at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house. Some friends took her to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, where she died. Police said at the time that it appears that Kovacs, who was majoring in animal sciences, drank too much at the gathering and died of an alcohol overdose.

"It's sad, very sad," student Jimmy Lopez said. "Such a young girl. 19, sophomore, it's sad. Very heartbreaking."

Rutgers has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking. But the university is an open campus, and students admit alcohol is present at parties. They add that individuals must be responsible.

"Any college campus, it's going to happen," student Morgan Lau said. "People need to learn to control themselves."

Kovacs was a student on the Cook College campus at the university.

The president of the university issued a statement with condolences, saying, "Offering our thoughts and prayers to Caitlyn's family and our support to those who knew Caitlyn best and who today are suffering the most."

Meanwhile, the fraternity issued its own statement stating, "We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Caitlyn Kovacs. We also wish to extend our sympathies to the students of Rutgers University as they endure this time of grief and misfortune."

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.


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