20-year-old man found dead in fraternity identified

Michael Drummond/Senior Staff

Update 11/10/2014: This article was updated to reflect the name of the victim, released by Berkeley Police Department on Monday.

The 20-year-old male individual pronounced dead at a fraternity south of campus was identified Monday as Vaibhev Loomba.

Police and firefighters responded to the Zeta Psi fraternity on Bancroft Way on Sunday about 10 minutes past noon to a report of an unresponsive male individual. According to Lt. Ed Spiller of Berkeley Police Department, the man was found face down.

The call came in at 12:09 p.m. and dispatched personnel from Berkeley Fire Department and BPD to 2728 Bancroft Way. Zeta Psi is not officially recognized by the campus and, according to Spiller, held a party Saturday night.

The homicide unit of BPD has taken charge of the case, which is standard procedure for suspicious death cases and does not necessarily indicate foul play. The county coroner’s bureau could not release cause of death due to a press hold.

“We err on the side of caution, so we deem it suspicious until we can prove otherwise,” Spiller said.

Loomba was a UC Davis student from Lafayette, California.

According to the Zeta Psi website, a regional leadership training institute was held Saturday in Berkeley. Tyler Boisvert, director of chapter services for the fraternity’s headquarters, said it was their policy not to comment on ongoing investigations.

Boisvert said that he was aware of the death and that the fraternity is working with authorities.

“We are all very sad to hear of this news,” said Dave Hunter, executive director of the fraternity’s international headquarters, in an email. “Our hearts go out the the family of this young man.”

Check back for updates.

Staff writer Amy Jiang contributed to this report.

Kimberly Veklerov is a news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @KVeklerov.