WESTWOOD—A UCLA student whose body was found at the scene of an apartment fire on Monday, September 21, has been identified as Andrea Lauren DelVesco, according to members of the Phi Beta Phi sorority.
DelVesco, a member of the sorority’s UCLA chapter, was a senior at the university studying psychology and Spanish, according to the Daily Bruin. She was given the nickname ‘Andy’ from her sorority.
“Andy had a contagious spirit and was a fearless giver,” said Pi Beta Phi Chapter President Jacquie Medeiros in a statement. “Andy was a friend to every person she met. She was always inclusive and there for everyone. More than anything, Andy wanted us to be ourselves … and most of all to never ever give up.”
Officials from the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office have not yet officially identified the body, despite the Pi Beta Chapter sorority speaking out about the incident. Officials noted that the body was badly burned.
Investigators have not yet determined if the victim died during or before the fire, which was extinguished in about 15 minutes at a multi-unit apartment building located on the 10900 block of Roebling Avenue.
More than 30 firefighters were sent to the location at 7:05 a.m. on September 21, the first day of UCLA’s fall quarter according to officials from the Los Angeles Fire Department. Firefighters searched the apartment and found the victim, who was declared dead at the scene. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation by the LAFD.
According to reports, DelVesco’s death is being investigated as an apparent homicide. New information has surfaced indicating that the victim was facing charges in connection to possession of two controlled substances stemming from an arrest that occurred on June 10.
“On behalf of the entire UCLA community, I extend our deepest condolences to her family and friends,” said Chancellor Gene Block in a statement. “UCLA is a close-knit community, and this tragic event affects us all. Our grief counselors will continue to meet with those who have been affected by this tragic loss and I encourage anyone who may wish to speak with a counselor to contact UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).”
Several members of the Pi Beta Phi sorority also lived in the unit, according to the Daily Bruin. The Los Angeles Police Department is asking anyone who may have any information about the case or saw anything between the hours of 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. on the 10900 block of Roebling Avenue to contact the Robbery Homicide Division, Homicide Special Section at (213) 486-6890 during weekday business hours (Monday – Friday from 06:00 am and 4:00 pm).
You may also contact any of the following 24-hours a day, after hours and on weekends Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (800-222-8477) LAPD “24-7” at (877) 527-3247 or (877-LAPD-247). Text the word “lapd” and your message to 274637 (CRIMES).