Dartmouth fraternity member from Delaware dies, prompting hazing investigation

Won Jang, 20, was a biomedical engineering major.

ByByJulia Reinstein and Leland Pinder ABCNews logo
Wednesday, July 10, 2024 3:27PM
Dartmouth fraternity member from Delaware dies, prompting hazing investigation
Dartmouth fraternity member from Delaware dies, prompting hazing investigation

MIDDLETOWN, Delaware -- The death of a Dartmouth College student and fraternity member from Middletown, Delaware, has prompted a hazing investigation, police said.

Won Jang, 20, was reported missing Sunday afternoon, having been last seen the prior night by the docks of the Connecticut River on the school's New Hampshire campus.

Search and rescue teams found his body offshore Sunday evening.

His cause of death has not yet been determined, but police said they do not suspect foul play.

"There is no indication that Won's death involved foul play," Scott Brown, dean of the college, wrote in a message to the Dartmouth community.

Hanover Police Chief Charles Dennis said in an interview with New Hampshire ABC affiliate WMUR they are investigating whether hazing played a role in the student's death.

"There is some evidence of alcohol involved, certainly from witnesses and talking with things like that. Again, that's all part of our investigation," Dennis said. "We did receive an anonymous email this morning through the college that there may be some hazing involved, so we certainly will look into that aspect, too."

Friends of Jang said he had attended a social gathering by the river that night thrown by his fraternity and a sorority, and that alcohol had been present, according to student newspaper The Dartmouth.

Jang, a biomedical engineering major, was a member of Beta Alpha Omega, according to the fraternity's website.

Won Jang, 20, a biomedical engineering major from Delaware, was a member of Beta Alpha Omega, according to the fraternity's website.
Won Jang, 20, a biomedical engineering major from Delaware, was a member of Beta Alpha Omega, according to the fraternity's website.
WMUR

School leaders say Beta Alpha Omega Fraternity and Alpha Phi Sorority have now been suspended as the investigation begins.

Dartmouth officials say both of those organizations had faced previous alcohol-related disciplinary action.

Action News reached out to the fraternity but did not hear back.

Dartmouth released the following statement on the incident Tuesday night:

"The entire Dartmouth community is grieving over the tragic loss of Won Jang. Our counseling team has been by the family's side since yesterday, and Dartmouth is providing every possible support it can to Won's parents, family, and friends."

One of Jang's friends, Kledian Marinaj, told WMUR he was an "amazing guy" who always had "a smile on his face."

"I had just been talking to him to make plans to grab a meal sometime," Marinaj said. "Of course, I was very upset when I first got the news, so I met up with friends around here, and we went on a walk, talking about all the great things about Won, about how he makes jokes and makes people laugh."

The Hanover Police Department said Tuesday that it's unable to provide additional details but encouraged anyone with information about Jang's death to contact them.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.