Nicolas E. Del Castillo ’14 was found dead on Sunday in his East Campus (floor 4th West) dormitory room.
Castillo, who came to MIT from Bogota, Colombia, was a Course 18 (Mathematics) major. Castillo’s family was notified by MIT police and Chancellor W. Eric L. Grimson PhD ’80 yesterday afternoon.
According to two East Campus residents, Castillo’s body was discovered between 6 and 7 p.m. by friends of Castillo and the MIT Police. All residents of 4th West — from all three houses Wood, Hayden and Munroe — were required to leave the dorm upon the body’s discovery. The body was removed from the premises around 9 p.m., followed by the arrival of a crew specializing in crime and death scene clean-up. Residents of Hayden and Munroe were permitted to return to their rooms after cleanup, but Wood residents (10 students) were required to find alternative housing for the evening. By this morning, all of 4th West had been re-opened.
There was evidence to suggest that the body had been there for several days before being discovered, according to one resident.
According to the News Office, as is protocol in case of sudden death, an investigation by the Massachusetts State Police and the Middlesex County District Attorney has begun. The News Office reported that there is no reason to suspect foul play, leaving suicide and accident as possible causes of death.
“This is a tragedy for the MIT community,” said Grimson to the News Office.
“Our thoughts are with Nicolas’s family, and we are reaching out to MIT students and others at the Institute who will be most affected by this loss.”
Emails were sent to some mailing lists — including that of 5th East, the former residence of Kabelo Zwane ’12, who died in Nov. 2009 in an apparent suicide — about the incident as early as 7:45 p.m. Sunday. They did not name Castillo.
A memorial service for Castillo has yet to be scheduled.
As of last evening, The Tech was unable to reach the East Campus housemasters, Kate and Thomas J. Delaney, as well as the 4th West GRTs. The MIT Police, Cambridge Police, and the Division for Student Life referred all inquiries to the News Office.
All members of the MIT community who feel affected by Castillo’s death are encouraged to contact Mental Health Services at 617-253-2916.