Former UC student who died at Berkeley frat house identified

Bay City News
Tuesday, December 22, 2015

BERKELEY, Calif. -- A University of California at Berkeley alumnus found dead at his old fraternity on Saturday morning was identified by police this afternoon.

Jeffrey Thomas Engler, 22, was found unresponsive at about 7:30 a.m. at the Pi Kappa Phi house, located at 2908 Channing Way, police Officer Jennifer Coats said.

He was pronounced dead a short time later. Police said he had fallen from a "significant height" prior to his death and alcohol appears to be a factor. Foul play is not suspected.

Engler, a San Leandro resident, was recently attending Laney College in Oakland and was not living at the fraternity. He had been visiting Pi Kappa Phi for a small holiday party when he died, according to police.

Todd Shelton, a spokesman for the national office of the fraternity, said the students there have been instructed to cooperate fully with the Berkeley police investigation.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the alumnus's family and friends," fraternity CEO Mark Timmes said in a statement. "The fraternity is continuing to work with the university staff to provide support to the student members of the chapter."

Pi Kappa Phi was founded in Charleston, South Carolina, and operates at 130 campuses nationwide.

Two students died in the area, nicknamed "frat row," late last year, apparently from alcohol-related causes.

A 20-year-old student was found dead in front of the Zeta Psi fraternity at 2729 Bancroft Way at 12:09 p.m. on Nov. 9, 2014. His death was later confirmed to be from alcohol poisoning.

Another student, a 20-year-old UC Berkeley junior, was found dead almost a year ago to the day, on the morning of Dec. 20, 2014. Police said his death was suspicious and possibly alcohol-related.

A Berkeley city report from April said 95 percent of injuries and deaths at fraternities nationwide are alcohol-related.

Police are asking anyone with information about Engler's death to call the department's homicide section at (510) 981-5741.