U student found dead in home near campus

The cause of Nick J. Owens’ death has not yet been determined.

Ian Larson

A 22-year-old University of Minnesota student died in his Marcy-Holmes neighborhood home Saturday afternoon, his family said. The Hennepin County coroner has not yet determined the cause of Nick J. OwensâÄô death, but those close to the case indicated that drugs may have been a factor. Owens, a Bethel, Minn., native, rented a room in the Kappa Eta Kappa house on the 1100 block of Fourth Street Southeast, but he was not a member of the fraternity, his mother, Mary Jo Owens, said. The electrical engineering student was found dead in his home Saturday afternoon, but police have not confirmed the location of the incident or the circumstances surrounding the death. In past conversations, Owens had told his mother that prescription medications and other drugs are common at some college parties. âÄúIâÄôm mad because I donâÄôt know where they get all these [medications], and I think it had something to do with his death. I think it was a tragic accident, a casual weekend [where he said] âÄòyeah, let me try,âÄô âÄù Mary Jo Owens said. Members of Kappa Eta Kappa, a professional engineering fraternity, declined to comment on the circumstances of the death, but members did confirm unofficially that a death had occurred at the house Saturday. Owens was a fourth-year student at the University and was an avid weightlifter and a âÄúshining starâÄù throughout his life, his mother said. It may be several weeks before the medical examiner releases more specific details regarding the cause of OwensâÄô death. âÄúHe wasnâÄôt a drug addict, he wasnâÄôt an alcoholic, you know, last quarter he pulled four Bs and a C,âÄù Mary Jo Owens said. She said any student could make the same bad decision her son made. âÄúPeople have choices,âÄù she said. âÄúIâÄôm just mad that my son made some wrong choices.âÄù -Katherine Lymn and James Nord contributed to this report.