Anderson’s cause of death still unknown

Medical examiner says tests are pending; no clear time frame given

No conclusion has been reached as to the cause of death of Brian G. Anderson ’13, the MIT junior who was found dead in his Next House dormitory room last Monday.

A death certificate was issued for Anderson on Feb. 22 in Cambridge with the cause of death listed as “pending.” Terrel Harris, a spokesperson for the Mass. Chief Medical Examiner’s office, said that a number of tests need to be run before the cause of death can be determined. Harris provided no concrete time frame, but suggested The Tech check back in two weeks.

Anderson’s body was approved for burial last week, and his funeral took place this past Saturday in his home state of Minnesota at the Grace Lutheran Church in Belview, MN .

Cambridge and MIT police have deemed that there was no foul play involved in Anderson’s death. The Boston Globe reported on Saturday that the death did not appear suspicious, according to Cara O’Brien, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney’s office. In his letter to students on Feb. 20, Chancellor Eric Grimson PhD ’80 urged students to “refrain from speculation” and said that “there is no strong indication that Brian’s death was the result of suicide.”

The passing of Anderson is the third undergraduate death this academic year. Nicolas E. Del Castillo ’14 was found dead in his dorm room in August, and Satto Tonegawa ’15 in October. Both deaths were ruled suicides.

Anderson, 21, was from Redwood Falls, Minnesota and a Course 15 (Management) major. He was on the MIT Wrestling team and a member of the recently disbanded Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

Students who feel affected by Anderson’s death should seek out Student Support Services in room 5-104 or call MIT Medical at 617-253-2916.

1 Comment
James Herms MtE \'87 over 11 years ago

"A concussive force delivered to the head may [cause] sustained changes in behavior including altered mood (especially depression), cognitive impairment, [and] impulsivity ...."

Neuroscience, Unit IV: The Changing Brain (5th ed. 2012).

"Concussions are most common in [#1] football ... [#4] wrestling.... Even the added neural exertion from mental activities like reading ... can interfere with the cerebrum's ability to heal -- particularly in the first 24 hours after injury."

Editorial (Science Agenda), Sci. Am., Feb. 2012.

"As a club team, wrestling will have reduced access to ... varsity sports medicine services."

Tech, Oct. 30, 2009,