Joshua Thomas, a Truman State University student from St. Peters, was found dead the Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity house on Thursday, April 6.
Thomas, 18, was found around 5 AM Thursday in the Alpha Kappa Lambda house on 918 South Osteopathy Avenue in Kirksville, Missouri. Thomas is the third student to die at this fraternity house since August 2016.
While the first two deaths at the Alpha Kappa Lambda house were ruled suicides, Steve Farnsworth, a spokesman for Kirksville Police Department, said the cause of death was still being investigated, and that police were not searching for any suspect. However, according to Fox, the coroner’s preliminary findings suggest Thomas died from hanging.
The Alpha Kappa Lambda national fraternity released a statement saying that counseling professionals are providing support services for members of the chapter and others in the community, and that they’re cooperating fully with the university and police.
The school says it has variety of ways young people can seek help for depression, they remind friends of those who are facing mental health problems to continue to encourage those friends to seek help as for parents, they say the job of parenting is never over.
“These fraternity men are hurting. They’re very close and they have a lot of questions and we will want to support them; we have provided that,” said Lou Ann Gilchrist, vice president of Student Affairs at Truman State University.
It will take about 8 weeks for the toxicology reports to come in and for officials to determine an official cause of death. Furthermore, Chief Hayes said they do not believe hazing played a part in any of the deaths.
“I’m confident we’re not looking for someone out there doing harm,” said Kirksville Police Chief Jim Hughes. “We have to be careful. We want the evidence to take us where it needs to go. We’ll wait for all the information is back before we make a call.”
The fraternity, Alpha Kappa Lambda, released a statement on Thomas’ passing:
“We are devastated to lose Joshua Thomas, a member of our brotherhood at Truman State University. Our sincerest and deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends and brothers. Fraternity staff and alumni are onsite to assist the chapter, working alongside university counseling professionals who are providing support services for the chapter and others in the community. We have offered our full cooperation to the university and local authorities. Out of respect for our brother, his family and the other members of the Truman State chapter we cannot comment further at this time.”
Thomas, who was living in a dormitory, was a business administration major spending his first year on the Truman State campus.