COLLEGE PARK – Homicide is unlikely and alcohol probably played no role in the death of University of Maryland student Alexander E. Klochkoff, who was found on the porch of his fraternity house Wednesday, according to preliminary autopsy results.
The death of the 20-year-old Maryland junior remains a mystery and under investigation, police said Thursday.
Klochkoff had no visible signs of injury that would have caused his death, said Maj. Gary Corso, Prince George’s County Police Criminal Investigation Unit commander.
The preliminary results also show it is “unlikely” drugs or alcohol were factors, Corso said. There also were “no signs of foul play,” he said, declining to rule out any possible causes of death.
Further autopsy examinations will be conducted by the office of the chief medical examiner in Baltimore to determine the exact cause of death. Toxicology reports, which would indicate whether drugs or alcohol were related to Klochkoff’s death, will not be ready for two to eight weeks, said Corso.
Klochkoff had no pre-existing medical conditions that contributed to his death, police said.
University Police Chief Ken Krouse confirmed his officers will continue assisting Prince George’s County Police in the “death investigation.”
Police are trying to determine Klochkoff’s whereabouts between 10 p.m. Tuesday and 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, when he was found unresponsive by a fellow fraternity brother on the front porch of his Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house.
The time and place of Klochkoff’s death is unknown, said Mike McQuillan, Prince George’s County Police homicide commander, however, he said witnesses had seen him alive in and around the SAE house between 3:30 and 4 a.m. Wednesday.
Police could not connect Klochkoff to reports of a fight outside R.J. Bentley’s bar Tuesday evening. And they would not confirm whether any scrapes or bruises were found on the body.
Police will continue to conduct interviews while they wait for a complete report from the medical examiner.
“We are going to do everything we can to bring closure to the Klochkoff family and everyone involved with the case,” said McQuillan.
The fraternity house where Klochkoff lived and was a member remained quiet Thursday as police continued their investigation. Many of the fraternity brothers attended an afternoon news conference, but were quickly escorted away from the media.
George Cathcart, university spokesman, said everyone involved has cooperated with investigators and students throughout the campus have shown their concern and offered assistance.
“There has been an outpouring of feeling and support throughout the campus community,” said Cathcart.
Klochkoff was from North Bellmore, N.Y., and transferred from Hofstra University last year, Cathcart said. He was known to be a good student who maintained good grades.
Cathcart also confirmed the fraternity had registered a party with the Greek Life office from 8-10 p.m. Tuesday. Like all registered parties during the rush, or Greek recruitment period, Cathcart said it was dry.
Many students remain distraught over the death of a fellow campus student.
“I didn’t know the kid, but it’s still a loss to the entire Greek community and the campus,” said senior Brandon Fastman. “It’s upsetting and kind of scary since I live right next door.”
Fastman is a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity next to the SAE house on Fraternity Row.
Campus administrators continued to cooperate with police, while providing additional support for students who are trying to cope with the loss.
“We are all shocked and concerned about the loss of a member of our community, and we extend our deepest sympathies to Alex’s family and friends,” said Linda Clement, vice president for student affairs. “The university is providing counseling and other services for members of our campus community.”
The last death on campus occurred in 1997 when junior Donald Castleberry died in his sleep of a rare heart defect in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house.
Klochkoff’s mysterious death has the campus worried. A rash of robberies within the first week of classes have added to some students’ concerns about safety in College Park, even though police have declined to speculate whether they’re connected to Klochkoff’s death.
Both University Police and Prince George’s County Police have stepped up security measures in response, they said.
Local memorial services for Klochkoff are being planned by Sigma Alpha Epsilon, but no details have been released.