Investigation continues into University student's death

By Adam Kaz

The Champaign County Coroner’s office is currently investigating the death of Deeptangshu Chatterjee, a senior at the University and a former member of the Daily Illini sports staff.

According to a press release, Chatterjee was found injured in a parking lot next to his apartment building in the 500 block of South Third Street. He was pronounced dead on Dec. 22 at Carle Foundation Hospital around 10:20 a.m.

The investigation to determine the cause of Chatterjee’s death will likely continue into February or March, said Champaign County coroner Duane E. Northrup.

“It generally takes 60 to 90 days (for an investigation) whenever a death is the result or possibly the result of trauma, and there’s an autopsy done, and we’re reviewing reports and obtaining medical records, other information,” said Northrup.

Chatterjee’s autopsy was conducted on Wednesday, the day after Chatterjee’s death, according to the press release.

“In this case, there was a student, so we would obtain information from the University as well, as far as his status, and grades and things like that,” said Northrup. “That’s what an investigation is, it’s looking into all those factors to determine and make a final decision on whether we think it’s accidental or part of something else.”

Although he declined to give specifics about the ongoing investigation, Northrup said that they have begun conducting research that might point to a cause of death. According to the press release, they have not ruled out suicide or accidental incident as the cause of the death.

“We’ve spoken to several people already, as well as the police department, who have spoken to several people,” Northrup said. “As I mentioned before, we review their reports as well before we make any final decisions.”

The Champaign County Coroner’s Office has investigated the deaths of several University students this past year.

“I wouldn’t call it necessarily unusually high, but it’s possible we have a higher number of students this year than in the past, but that’s for different reasons,” he said.