Dartmouth student found dead in river, prompting investigation into hazing

Police are investigating whether hazing played a role in the death of a Dartmouth College student whose body was found in a river over the weekend.

Won Jang, a member of the class of 2026, was reported missing Sunday afternoon after he was last seen the night before at a social gathering near docks on the Connecticut River. Police searched the area with the help of a dive team, fish and game officers and a marine patrol. Several hours later, they found Jang’s body in the river about 65 feet from shore, according to a news release from the Hanover Police Department in New Hampshire.

Jang, 20, a biomedical engineering major from Middletown, Delaware, “participated enthusiastically in the Dartmouth community,” Dartmouth College Dean Scott Brown said in a statement offering his condolences to the community.

Two of Jang’s friends wrote in an email to The Dartmouth, the university’s student newspaper, that Jang had attended a joint event between his fraternity, Beta Alpha Omega, and Alpha Phi, a sorority, on July 6. The event involved alcohol, the two friends said.

Police Chief Charles Dennis told WMUR-TV they would investigate whether hazing was involved.

“There is some evidence of alcohol consumption, certainly from witnesses and conversations with those types of things,” he told ABC News. “Again, that’s all part of our investigation. We did receive an anonymous email this morning through the university that there may be hazing going on, so we’ll certainly be looking into that aspect as well.”

A university spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday that Beta Alpha Omega and Alpha Phi have been suspended pending the investigation.

Last fall, Dartmouth’s college newspaper reported that an unnamed incident led to Beta Alpha Omega being suspended through the summer of 2024, which began in June and will last through August. The same reporting revealed that Alpha Phi was placed on probation for alcohol abuse last winter.

Police said Jang’s cause of death has not yet been determined, but after an initial investigation, foul play is not suspected.

Beta Alpha Omega and Alpha Phi did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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