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Police still awaiting test results in fraternity death

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

DeKALB – Police dispute portions of a Fox TV news report into the Nov. 2 death of an NIU fraternity pledge but declined to discuss their investigation until it is finished.

Authorities are waiting on toxicology results and interviews before finalizing their investigation into the death of David Bogenberger, a 19-year-old freshman and 2012 Palatine High School graduate, Lt. Jason Leverton said. Pi Kappa Alpha has been placed on temporary sanctions, meaning members still live in the house at 1020 W. Hillcrest Drive in DeKalb but the fraternity cannot hold any events.

Authorities said early in their investigation that they suspected alcohol played a role in Bogenberger’s death because they found evidence of drinking near him. The fraternity, commonly known as Pikes, was hosting a “parents’ night” function the night before Bogenberger was found nonresponsive in a bunk-bed in the fraternity, Leverton said.

“We don’t want to make more of it right now, because we don’t have the actual cause-of-death ruling,” Leverton said.

During “parents’ night,” pledges typically are assigned an upperclassman from a sorority or fraternity. The upperclassmen hide in different rooms in the fraternity house. The pledges go from door-to-door, guessing if their “mom” or “dad” is inside and drinking if they are wrong.

The Fox report interviewed an NIU student who heard about Bogenberger’s death from friends who were there. That student claimed Bogenberger was placed in a room to sleep, ended up on his back and choked on his own vomit, according to the Fox 32 report.

Leverton disputed portions of that account, but declined to elaborate. DeKalb County Coroner Dennis Miller said no vomit-like material was found in Bogenberger’s airways during the autopsy.

An autopsy Nov. 3 did not reveal an obvious cause of death, but Miller said he expects the outside toxicology test results within days.

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