FORT COLLINS, Colo. – A 19-year-old former homecoming queen was found dead at a Colorado State University (search) fraternity over the weekend, and the fraternity chapter was suspended by its national headquarters.
The body of Samantha Spady, a sophomore from Beatrice, Neb., was found Sunday evening in a lounge at the Sigma Pi fraternity (search) by a member giving a tour of the house. Police suspect drinking contributed to her death but are waiting for the results of toxicology tests.
Police spokeswoman Rita Davis said there was no sign of foul play, leading police to close their criminal investigation. However, it could be reopened if investigators discover someone else provided the underage student with alcohol.
The fraternity's suspension means there will be no social activities at the house pending the results of an investigation but the members can continue living there, said Mark Briscoe, national executive director of Brentwood, Tenn.-based Sigma Pi.
Meanwhile, police were trying to determine how Spady ended up at the fraternity. Davis said Spady was involved in a minor car accident on Saturday and called friends to pick her up. She said the friends indicated she was not drunk at the time.
It's not clear whether Spady drank at the fraternity house on Saturday night but police believe members of the fraternity checked on the sophomore business major and thought she had passed out.
Fraternity president Darren Pettapiece said there was no party at the house. CSU fraternities and sororities have been banned from having organized drinking parties at their houses since 2002 and must instead rent a site for such events.
Adam Tatro, 23, who attended high school with Spady, said he did not understand why no one took her to the hospital.
Spady was an honor student, cheerleading captain, homecoming queen and president of her class in Beatrice, a town of about 13,000 in southeastern Nebraska.
"This just doesn't seem like her at all," Tatro said. "Sam, she was a smart girl. If you knew her at all through high school, she wasn't getting in trouble. She wasn't out doing stupid things."
University president Larry Penley said Tuesday that he is creating a task force to look into alcohol abuse on campus.
The university will also review whether Sigma Pi should remain sanctioned by the school once the police investigation is complete, said Anne Hudgens, the school's campus life director.
Sigma Pi was disciplined in March for having a party and a keg at the house. Six fraternity members are also being sued by a man who said they assaulted him last summer when he accidentally drove on the fraternity's property with his wife and 12-year-old daughter.