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UF fraternity mourns death of freshman

Autopsy results on a student found dead in a fraternity house bunk bed are not expected for at least four to six weeks.


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 22, 2000

GAINESVILLE -- With autopsy results several weeks away, members of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity wore shirts with their organization's letters Friday to mark their solidarity as they mourned the death of 18-year-old Matthew Kaminer.

Kaminer, a University of Florida freshman, was found dead in a bunk bed in one of the rooms in the fraternity house Thursday afternoon. Witnesses told police he had been drinking the night before, though investigators are not sure if that caused Kaminer's death.

University Police Department spokesman Joe Sharkey said the Alachua County Medical Examiner's Office does not expect to report autopsy results for at least four to six weeks.

Dean of Students Julie Sina said a rabbi who performed a Seder at the house Thursday night helped the fraternity members confront the questions surrounding Kaminer's death.

"As long as we don't have a report, we have all this unresolved stuff out there," she said. "And that is hard to deal with."

Kaminer attended a Seder at the Hillel Foundation on Wednesday night and went back to the fraternity house to celebrate a fraternity brother's birthday.

Sina said a group of four or five fraternity members, including Kaminer, had drunk in a private room. Members over 21 are allowed to have alcohol in their rooms.

"To the best of my knowledge, it was not an unregistered party," Sina said Friday. She said the chapter is not facing any sanctions from the university at this time.

Police reports issued Friday describe the condition of Kaminer's body when found by police. There was an unidentifiable substance coming from his mouth, the report stated.

Sina said Kaminer's parents are planning a memorial service in their hometown of Boca Raton.

Sidney Dunn, executive vice president of the national Alpha Epsilon Pi, which calls itself a Jewish fraternity, said the death is a heavier burden for the family because it occurred during Passover.

"I think it is a terrible burden for the family; especially when this holiday comes up again they have to commiserate the death of their son," he said.

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