NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Prosecutors investigating the death of Rutgers student Caitlyn Kovacs said preliminary findings point to alcohol as playing a role in her death.
The 19-year-old sophomore was taken "in distress" from the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house on Rutgers campus around 3 a.m. Sunday morning to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The Middlesex County (New Jersey) Prosecutor's Office said investigators believe Kovacs' death was alcohol-related. The official cause of death will be determined by autopsy completed by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner, results of which could take weeks.
In a statement, Rutgers President Robert Barchi said Kovacs' death is "a tragic loss to her family, her friends, and the entire Rutgers community."
"This is a time, too, when we need to reach out to one another and show our love, support, and compassion," he said. "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."
DKE International Executive Director Doug Launcher said the fraternity was "fully cooperating with local and county authorities" in the investigation.
He said the fraternity "would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Caitlyn Kovacs" and "extend our sympathies to the students of Rutgers University as they endure this time of grief and misfortune."
In a tragic coincidence, a second Rutgers student died Sunday afternoon, killed by a bear while hiking. Senior Darsh Patel, 22, was attacked and killed by a bear while on a hike with friends in the Apshawa Preserve in West Milford.
Rutgers is offering grief counseling to students on at its Central Jersey campus beginning Monday, making extra staff available to students.
"At the core of our university's mission is our primary concern for the well-being of our students, and it is at heartbreaking moments like this that we must take special care to reach out with compassion and support," said campus provost Richard Edwards.
Monday also marked the fourth anniversary of the suicide death of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, the freshman who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate streamed a video of his romantic encounter with a man in their dorm.