UPDATE, JAN. 15, 10:45 A.M.: A GoFundMe campaign to offset funeral expenses for the family of Noah Domingo raised $9,782 toward its $10,000 goal in just 12 hours.
“The family was so grateful that his last days were about cherished time spent with family and friends for the holidays before returning to school,” reads part of the crowdfunding pitch from Tammy Robertson, on behalf of the Domingo family.
“The family has been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support and although they would like to be able to say thank you to each and every person who has reached out they are trying to grieve as a family and come to grips with this tremendous loss.”
All proceeds have been certified to go Dale Domingo, the father of the deceased UCI freshman.
ORIGINAL POST, JAN. 14, 1:25 P.M.: A UC Irvine fraternity has been placed on interim suspension while police investigate an 18-year-old freshman’s death in an off-campus home Saturday morning.
The county coroner is conducting an autopsy and awaiting toxicology reports to determine how Noah Domingo died, according to the sheriff’s department.
The university and Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which has been ordered to suspend all activity, say they are cooperating in the Irvine Police Department investigation into the death on Turtle Rock Drive.
Edgar J. Dormitorio, interim vice chancellor of Student Affairs, issued this statement to the UCI community today.
Dale Domingo, the late teen’s father, told the Los Angeles Times that he received a call Saturday morning to come to UC Irvine, and when he arrived to see police and what appeared to be a crime scene, “I knew already. I knew my son was gone.”
“We are heartbroken by the death of our UCI brother, Noah Domingo,” said Mike Sophir, Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s chief executive officer, in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, and we appreciate the support the university and its staff have provided to students in this difficult time.”
Domingo, who graduated in the spring from Crescenta Valley High School in La Crescenta, where he played football and basketball, followed his 20-year-old sister Brianna to UCI, where he majored in biology and dreamed of becoming involved in sports medicine for a basketball team.
Brianna Domingo told the Times that her brother spent the past week balancing intense studying with Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s winter rush week, which concluded with an event Friday.
Among those wondering if more could have been done to prevent the initiated frat member’s death is his father. “As a family, we’re hurting, but we’re also concerned—could it have been prevented?” Dale Domingo told the Times. “Is there something we, as a family, can do to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again?”
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.