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Entries in Northern Illinois University (4)

Wednesday
Dec192012

Authorities Issue 22 Arrest Warrants over NIU Frat Hazing Death

Comstock/Thinkstock(DEKALB, Ill.) -- Authorities in Dekalb, Ill., have issued 22 warrants for the arrest of students at Northern Illinois University for violating the state's hazing statute in connection with the November death of a freshman at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house.

David Bogenberger, 19, died on Nov. 2 of a cardiac arrhythmia, with alcohol intoxication as a significant condition contributing to death, at an unsanctioned party, the Dekalb Police Department said.  At the time of his death, Bogenberger's alcohol level was at five times the legal limit, according to the DeKalb County Coroner's Office.

Lt. Jason Leverton with the DeKalb Police Department told ABC News that two of the students charged voluntarily turned themselves in Tuesday night, and are now out on bond.

"What we did is reach out by phone, let them know charges were filed and gave them the opportunity to turn themselves in," Leverton said.  "We'll check back in a few days, wherever they are."

Warrants for class 4 felony hazing were issued to five of the fraternity's leaders, including the president and vice president, while 17 members of the fraternity, who according to police "are the individuals that actively participated in the provision of alcohol," were issued arrest warrants for class A misdemeanor hazing.

Leverton said that the school shut down the fraternity after Bogenberger's death, though some of those who have been issued warrants may still reside at the privately-owned house.  He said that, as far as he knows, the students are still attending NIU, but as of the weekend, many have left for holiday break.

On Nov. 2, the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity held a party called the "parent's night," which involved the assignment of "Greek dads and moms" to students pledging the frat, police said.  The Greek dads are upper classmen in the fraternity that serve as mentors to the pledges, while the Greek moms are members of associated sororities.

The "parent's night" involved the pledges rotating between several rooms in the fraternity house, being asked a series of questions, and then being provided cups of vodka and other liquor to drink.  This resulted in the pledges drinking a large quantity of alcohol in about a two-hour time period.

"[Bogenberger] was friendly, he was gregarious, he liked to be liked, he wanted to be accepted and the terms that were placed on his acceptance into this fraternity were ultimately fatal to David," Peter Coladarci, the attorney for the Bogenberger family said.  "It's a national problem.  Over 1,800 kids between 18 and 24 die every year, alcohol and unintended alcohol-related incidents, many of them hazing related."

Pail Palian, director of media and public relations for NIU, said that the school is investigating the incident separately from the police.

"We placed the fraternity with temporary sanctions, which [included] the temporary loss of student organization recognition," he said.  "That did not allow the frat house to conduct any business."

On Dec. 7, the university delivered the fraternity notification that 31 members of the frat, or those seeking membership, were in violation of the student code of conduct.  Palian said the school is cooperating with the local police, and that if they receive more information based on the police investigation, they will alter some of the cases that students are facing, on a case by case basis.

Gary and Ruth Bogenberger released a statement in conjunction with the issuing of the arrest warrants.

"[We] must acknowledge the concern we feel for the families of those charged today.  The events of Nov. 1 and 2 unalterably changed the course of too many lives.  And for what?" they said in the statement.  "We have no desire for revenge.  Rather, we hope that some significant change will come from David's death."

The five students facing felony charges could get one to three years in prison, if convicted.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct302010

Man Charged with Murder of Missing Illinois Student

Photo Courtesy - NIU Police Department(DEKALB, Ill.) -- William Curl, the man charged with the killing of Northern Illinois University freshman Antinette "Toni" Keller, could face the death penalty, a judge said Saturday at Curl's first court appearance. Curl, 34, of DeKalb, Ill., was ordered held on $5 million bail on charges of first-degree murder, criminal sexual assault and arson. A public defender has been appointed for Curl.

Keller, an 18-year-old art student, went missing on Oct. 14 after setting off alone into Prairie Park around noon. The young woman was last seen at her residence hall, when she told fellow students she was going to the popular park to get ideas for an art project. Two days later, burned human remains were found in the park. Prosecutors said in court that police found Keller's burned clothing and her cell phone near the remains.

Curl, who police said was known to frequent the park, was taken into custody Tuesday in Covington, La., on charges of obstruction of justice and unlawful possession of a motor vehicle. On Friday, he was extradited to Illinois.

Sources close to the investigation told ABC Chicago station WLS-TV that Curl came to the attention of the DeKalb police when he called them about a fire in the woods at Prairie Park, where Keller told friends she was going to work on an art project.

Police said last week that the human remains found Oct. 16 in the search for Keller were so badly burned that an autopsy would not be possible and more testing would be needed to identify them.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct262010

Police: Remains In Ill. Student Search Too Badly Burned

Photo Courtesy - ABC News | NIU Police Department (DEKALB, Ill.) -- The human remains found in the search for missing student Antinette "Toni" Keller were so badly burned that an autopsy will not be possible and more testing will be needed to identify them, police said Tuesday.

The remains were found late Saturday in a DeKalb, Ill. park where investigators were searching for the missing 18-year-old Northern Illinois University art student.

"The investigation is proceeding as a homicide investigation," DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen said Tuesday at a news conference. "Due to the state of the burnt remains, an autopsy is not viable."

"Forensic experts have identified the remains as human," he said. "Whether these remains are Toni's or not could take some time."

The remains were found near items that appeared to be things that witnesses said Keller had with her or was wearing when she was last seen, Feithen said.

More than 40 police officers from the DeKalb County major case squad are working on the investigation with support from from six other law enforcement agencies, including the Illinois State Police and the FBI, he said.

"We have continued to interview persons, whom we believe may have information relative to this case," he said. "To date we have spoken to approximately 50 people, some more than once."

Keller, an 18-year-old freshman, went missing on Oct. 14 after setting off alone into Prairie Park at around noon. The young woman was last seen at her residence hall, when she told fellow students she was going to the popular park to get ideas for an art project.

"She just told the people she was going into the forest, which she did all the time, to do her artwork because that's a nice way to relax and have your art feel going, and she always came back before dark," Jamie Feather, one of Keller's friends, told ABC Chicago station WLS-TV. "She was supposed to meet someone the next day and never showed up."

According to Keller's cousin and family spokeswoman, Mary Tarling, Keller had made arrangements to see family and friends last weekend, and the family realized she was missing when she did not turn up at home Oct. 15.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct242010

Search for Missing College Student Becomes Death Investigation

Photo Courtesy - NIU Police Department(DEKALB, Ill.) -- Police have found human remains in the park where a Northern Illinois University college student was last seen before disappearing more than a week ago.

Though officials have not yet identified the remains, authorities have reclassified the case as a homicide investigation.

Antinette “Toni” Keller, an art student at NIU, was last seen on Oct. 14. She told fellow students she was going to nearby Prairie Park to get ideas for an art project.

According to Keller's cousin and family spokeswoman, Mary Tarling, Keller had made arrangements to see family and friends last weekend, and the family realized she was missing when she did not turn up at home.

Tarling told ABC News that a set of dorm keys belonging to Keller was found in the park.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio