DeKALB – Authorities are investigating whether alcohol was involved in the death of a 19-year-old Northern Illinois University student whose body was found at a fraternity house Friday morning.
Authorities found evidence of alcohol use near David R. Bogenberger, who was found in a bunk bed Friday morning at the Pi Kappa Alpha house, 1020 W. Hillcrest Drive in DeKalb, said DeKalb County Coroner Dennis J. Miller. DeKalb police responded to a call at 10:14 a.m., and Bogenberger was pronounced dead at the fraternity house about 30 minutes later, Miller said.
According to his profile on NIU’s website, Bogenberger was a 2012 graduate of Palatine High School and a freshman studying business. He said he enjoyed classic films, reading and playing sports with friends. He lived in Stevenson Towers at NIU, and his family lives in Osprey, Fla.
His father, Gary Bogenberger, said Friday afternoon that his family was in shock and had many questions about his death.
“I am so surprised at the number of comments and well-wishes on his Facebook page from so many of his friends,” Gary Bogenberger wrote in an email to the Daily Chronicle. “He was such a nice kid that everyone liked. I just video-chatted with him Wednesday night, and he seemed so happy, doing great in his classes and looking so forward to life. It’s tragic that he died alone.”
Police planned to interview at least a couple dozen of people who had been in the fraternity house Thursday night or Friday morning, DeKalb police Lt. Jason Leverton said.
They also were waiting for results of an autopsy scheduled for today.
“At this point, until we get the coroner’s autopsy back, we cannot confirm one particular avenue,” Leverton said, adding police planned to thoroughly investigate the death.
Bogenberger did not show any apparent signs of trauma, nor did authorities immediately discover a major medical condition, Leverton said. Authorities did not suspect foul play or suicide.
The fraternity did not host a large party Thursday, but Bogenberger had been among a number of people invited to the house, Leverton said. A photo on Bogenberger’s Facebook page showed him marching with a fraternity banner while wearing a yellow Pikes T-shirt.
A university spokesman extended his condolences to Bogenberger’s family and friends. The university’s Counseling and Student Development Center is available for those who need emotional support.
“Obviously as an NIU community, we’re very very saddened by what happened,” NIU spokesman Brad Hoey said. “We’re going to continue to support his friends and family throughout this process.”
University officials said they also would investigate reports of drinking at the fraternity, Hoey said.
“We have strict guidelines on student conduct and conduct of student organizations,” Hoey said. “If there are violations of university policies, there are ramifications.”
The fraternity released a short statement Friday afternoon.
“The Eta Nu Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha has ceased chapter operations in order to give our full cooperation to our local authorities and the investigation,” the statement read. “There is no further information at this time.”