Officials Identify Apparent Suicide Victim as UC Berkeley Student

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The man who fell to his death from Evans Hall Thursday has been identified as 19-year-old UC Berkeley student Kevin Hogue-a junior in the College of Letters and Science.

Although the investigation into his death is ongoing, police believe Hogue committed suicide, said UC Berkeley spokesperson Janet Gilmore, who added that police have found no evidence of foul play.

"We, of course, are deeply saddened by the death," Gilmore said. "Our hearts go out to the student's family and friends."

Hogue died from "multiple blunt injuries" incurred as a result of his fall, said Frank Gentle, a supervisor with the Alameda County coroner's office. He said initial findings from an autopsy performed Friday morning are consistent with a suicide.

"We don't have any suspicions of anything else," Gentle said.

The cause of death will not be definitively determined until toxicology tests are completed in several weeks, Gentle said. Police expected to have completed their investigation this weekend.

The apparent suicide, one of several in the building over the last several years, prompted campus administrators and police to examine the safety of Evans Hall, Gilmore said. She added that no specific changes to the building are being implemented at this time.

Less than a month ago, another UC Berkeley student killed himself in his Evans Hall office by suffocating himself with a plastic bag.

Hogue was found dead at 3:55 p.m. Thursday after falling from near the top of the 10-story building. He landed outside the building's northwest corner. Paramedics from the Berkeley Fire Department responded to the scene but pronounced Hogue dead upon arrival.

To those who knew him, Hogue was a troubled but unique individual. Friends heralded him as smart, imaginative and determined.

"He was the sort of person who you meet for five minutes and you remember him for the rest of your life," said UC Berkeley senior Gwen Davis.

To some of Hogue's friends, his apparent suicide came as a shock. Just hours before his death, Hogue posted his intentions through a series of exchanges in the forums in his online journal, under his alias "Stars' Pyre."

"Please, forbid me suicide, then. It encourages me. I appreciate it," wrote Hogue 12 hours before his death.

But this was nothing new, according to Hogue's friends, who said he had made numerous false threats in the past.

"It wasn't any different from what he had been posting before," said UC Berkeley freshman David Boyk, a writer for The Daily Californian. "I didn't pick up that he was any more serious."

Leading up to Hogue's death, friends say they urged him to seek counseling but that he never listened.

"He sort of laughed it off," Davis said. "I don't know if he wanted help."

Davis said she hopes others confronted with a similar situation try to do more.

"Don't take any threats lightly even if you don't think someone's serious," Davis said. "Better safe than sorry."

One of Hogue's Internet acquaintances, Brian Root, a student at Modesto Junior College, said Hogue decided to take his own life several weeks ago.

"It seemed like there wasn't a lot that could be done," Root said. "He was very difficult to talk to. He would never listen to anybody."

Friends added that it would have been impossible for anyone to stop the victim from taking his own life.

"He wanted to escape," Root said. "He thought committing suicide would bring him closer to that."


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