Student Found Unconscious at West Virginia University Fraternity Dies

Two days after police found him unconscious and not breathing at the Kappa Sigma fraternity house, a West Virginia University student died Friday. Nolan Michael Burch, an 18-year-old freshman, was discovered at the frat house after officers were called in late Wednesday night. The incident is being described as one that was "alcohol-related," though the official cause of Burch's death is still uncertain.


Officers reportedly found another student performing CPR on Burch when they arrived at the fraternity house. Burch's final tweet before the incident read, "It's about to be a very eventful night to say the least." It's uncertain whether Burch was pledging the fraternity or if hazing was involved. It also hasn't been confirmed that alcohol is the official cause of his death, but officers have revealed that students were drinking at the frat house that evening.

Rumors are reportedly surfacing that the Kappa Sigma event was pledge-related and that the chapter wasn't given permission to hold it by the national fraternity. Even before this horrific death, WVU's Kappa Sigma chapter was reportedly suspended for a separate incident that hasn't been made public.

After Burch was found unconscious, WVU officials suspended all of its 28 fraternities and sororities -- a move that has divided students.

More from The Stir: University Suspends All Fraternities & Sororities After Teen Is Found Unconscious

Burch was originally from Buffalo, N.Y. and his heartbroken family reportedly traveled five hours by car to see their son. He has been described by friends and family as an outgoing and friendly young man who played hockey and lacrosse and knew early on that he wanted to attend WVU. Our hearts go out to those who knew and loved him as they try to wrap their minds around this senseless tragedy.

Police are continuing to investigate the teen's death.


Image via L.C. Nottaasen/Flickr

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