UCLA Sorority Girl Discovered Murdered in Apartment
Sep 27 2015
Patrick Healy reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 23, 2015.
Firefighters discovered the body of University of California, Los Angeles student Andrea "Andy" DelVesco, 21, during the 7 a.m. blaze on Monday, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The LA Times reported that LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said there was a "person of interest" seen fleeing the scene of the fire who they want to interview.
Arson investigators and LAPD detectives are still trying to determine whether the 21-year-old died before the fire broke out, or whether she perished in the blaze.
Coroner's officials tell The Los Angeles Times that the death is being investigated as an apparent homicide. He said dental records were being obtained for a goal of making the positive identification of the severely burned remains.
According to NBC Los Angeles, DelVesco was arrested in June for possessing Ecstasy, LSD, meth and Psilocybin, with intent to sell. DelVesco pleaded not guilty.
The four-count case against her, including one count for each drug allegedly in her possession, was filed July 8, said D.A.'s spokeswoman Jane Robison.
DelVesco had been due to appear Friday at the Airport Courthouse to set a date for a preliminary hearing, they said.
The cause of the fire was still "under active investigation, being done jointly with with the LAPD", city fire spokesman Brian Humphrey said. "The motive is simply this: if she is silenced, she can not testify against anyone else and put them in prison for more serious charges", Huebl said. "We really have to at this point the police have to keep their eyes and ears open for every possibility", said Huebl.
During the summer, DelVesco was employed doing clerical work at a Brentwood law group.
There has been media speculation that an alleged drug connection could have killed DelVesco over fear she would turn in a suspected source in a hypothetical attempt to make a deal with prosecutors.
Meanwhile, grief counselors were meeting with students as classes started on campus Thursday.
Lessem declined to comment on whether any negotiations were underway for DelVesco to cooperate with authorities in the drug investigation.
The UCLA Daily Bruin, which first ID'd the fire victim from Austin, Texas, reported she was a psychology and Spanish major at the school and that she was living in a building used by her sorority, Pi Beta Phi, for housing.
'Andy had a contagious spirit and was a fearless giver', said Pi Beta Phi Chapter President Jacquie Medeiros in a statement.
The sorority did not reveal whether it was aware of the pending drug case.