Sister of Jeffrey Engler says he died after falling from roof of fraternity house

Mitzi Perez/Staff

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Alcohol consumption and a fall from the roof of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house may have played a role in the death of former UC Berkeley student Jeffrey Thomas Engler, according to his sister, Caity Engler.

Engler’s body was discovered at the fraternity house the morning of Dec. 19 after he attended a small gathering the night before. Engler, 22, likely died after moving up to the roof with several other partygoers and staying behind after they left, according to Caity Engler.

“My brother stayed there, which was not odd at all — it was one of his favorite places to be,” Caity Engler said. “He loved the view. He has a lot of pictures throughout the year showing the sunrise in different seasons.”

According to Engler, a friend of her brother found him lying in the Pi Kappa Phi parking lot, alive and speaking. The friend was not aware that Jeffrey Engler had been on the roof, Caity Engler said. After the friend eventually noticed that Jeffrey Engler had stopped breathing, the police were called, according to Caity Engler.

The exact cause of Jeffrey Engler’s death has not yet been determined by the Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau. Berkeley Police Department has not established a clear timeline of the events leading up to the death, though “it appears he fell from a significant height prior to his death,” and there are no indications of foul play, according to a BPD press release from Dec. 21.

A Pi Kappa Phi representative declined to comment on the investigation, and BPD has not released any updates since Dec. 21.

Caity Engler views her brother’s death as a teaching moment for the campus community.

“We consider it a terrible accident that if people pay attention to it, it can hopefully prevent further accidents in the future,” she said. “It’s awful to think of a death as ‘What good could come of this,’ because we’re still so stuck in the tragedy of it, but … this really does fall right into that — this perception of ‘OK, now what can we do so that nobody else has to go through what we’re going through?’ ”

Contact Anderson Lanham at [email protected].