Police in New Brunswick, New Jersey, are investigating the early morning Sept. 21 death of Rutgers’ University sophomore, 19-year-old Caitlyn Kovacs of Monmouth Junction, who died after appearing to “go into distress” and passing out at a frat house. Police will be looking into the possibility that Kovacs’ death may have been alcohol related, according to Newsmax.
Friends transported the college sophomore to New Brunswick’s Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital after she began showing those signs of distress at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house. Tragically, the 19 year old was declared dead at the hospital shortly after 3 a.m. on Sunday.
Police interviewed the DKE fraternity members later in the day on Sunday. The fraternity posted to their Facebook page, along with condolences to the Kovacs family, their organization’s pledge to cooperate fully with the investigation into Kovacs’ death. “As the investigation of the incident is ongoing, Delta Kappa Epsilon is fully cooperating with local and county authorities,” said DKE International Executive Director Doug Laphner. The complete and “Official statement of Delta Kappa Epsilon International” appears below.
On behalf of the International Fraternity of Delta Kappa Epsilon and the Brothers of our chapter at Rutgers University, 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. As the investigation of the incident is ongoing, Delta Kappa Epsilon is fully cooperating with local and county authorities.
The Daily News reported that Andrew Carey, a prosecutor for New Brunswick, hasn’t filed any charges in Kovacs’ death pending her autopsy. Kovacs was an animal sciences major in Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. Rutgers University President Robert Barchi released a statement on the Rutgers University website that grief counseling was available at the university for students and staff.
Barchi added that “This is a time, too, when we need to reach out to one another and show our love, support, and compassion. 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.”
This summer, Caitlyn worked for the Beg ‘n Bark pet-sitting business in Princeton taking care of mostly dogs and cats. NJ.com quoted the owner of Beg ‘n Bark, Brenda Janner, as describing Caitlyn as “a great employee who loved animals,” and being “conscientious, a hard worker, and creative.”
On Beg ‘n Bark’s website, Kovacs wrote about herself: “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,” Janner said. “She was very positive. You could tell she enjoyed doing what she was doing. She had a passion for it.”