Virginia Commonwealth University fraternity suspended following freshman student hazing death. Victim identified as Adam Oakes VCU Delta Chi initiating member.
Virginia Commonwealth University said Sunday that it had ordered the Delta Chi fraternity to cease activities following the death of 19-year-old freshman, Adam Oakes.
Oakes, who had recently received a bid to join the fraternity, had been drinking at a party Friday night in which they match new members with a ‘big brother,’ WRC-TV reported.
But after a night of partying where at one point he was blindfolded, Oakes was found unresponsive just after 9 a.m, Saturday morning at home in Richmond, WTVR reported.
A cause of death has yet to be determined.
‘I don’t think he could handle it,’
Courtney White, Oakes’ cousin, told FOX 5 DC that the freshman was found dead after a night of hazing at a Delta Chi fraternity rush event. She said he was given a handle of Jack Daniels whiskey and drank the whole container.
‘I don’t think he could handle it,’ Oakes’ cousin, Courtney White, told FOX.
‘He ended up falling into a tree, hitting his head on a tree. We don’t know if he passed out or was unconscious.’
Police said they pronounced him dead at the scene and ordered an autopsy to determine his cause of death.
‘This is a tragic loss for Adam’s family and members of our community,’ school officials said in a statement.
‘The Delta Chi fraternity’s national chapter issued a cease-and-desist order to the VCU chapter on Saturday; the university took a similar action today and continues its investigation,’ the statement continued.
The Delta Chi national headquarters did not confirm whether Oakes was a member, but said in a statement that they were ‘devastated to learn of the death of a student at the Virginia Commonwealth University.’
‘He only wanted to be accepted…’
‘The health and safety of our chapter communities is a top priority for The Delta Chi Fraternity, which suspended the chapter after learning of the incident late Saturday afternoon,’ the statement said. ‘We encourage all members to cooperate with law enforcement investigative efforts and all directives of University Administration.’
Oakes graduated from Potomac Falls High School, where he played football and ‘loved to cheer’ at athletic events, the high school said in a statement.
Family members described Oakes to local news outlets as an only child who was trying to find his place and make new friends.
‘He wanted people to like him and find his niche,’ White told the Times-Dispatch. ‘I think he thought he found them.’
Oakes’ father, Eric, told WTVR that his son’s death has left ‘a massive hole in his heart.’
‘He was such a good kid,’ Eric Oakes said. ‘He only wanted to be accepted and he wanted to be friends with people. He just had such a big heart.’
Police are continuing to investigate and asked anyone with information on the incident to call detectives at (804) 646-3915.