Campus remembers first-year: What we know


Image source: Andrew Topham

A collage of photos of Connor Gage posted Feb. 10 on his Caring Bridge site by family friend Andrew Topham. Gage died Feb. 2 in a North Winooski Avenue parking lot after exposure to sub-zero temperatures following visits to two off-campus fraternities.

Staff Report

The investigation into the death of first-year Connor Gage continues as officials at the University waver on when they will be able to take action.

Gage was 19 years old at the time of his death. He was from Little Falls, New York, and was a member of the Wellness Environment studying neuroscience.

Gage was found unresponsive by first responders Feb. 2 in a pile of snow behind a Burlington business on North Winooski Avenue.

John Murad, deputy chief of the Burlington Police Department, said that a preliminary autopsy report showed that Gage died of exposure to extremely cold temperatures, which was affected by severe intoxication.

Official results regarding the level of alcohol in Gage’s body and its impact on his death are still being determined, Murad said.

Although the investigation is ongoing, the Burlington Police Department does not expect to file any charges in this case, Murad said.

“Based on what we have discovered, we do not believe there was any conduct directly related to what happened to Connor that was criminal in nature,” Murad said.

Murad said that the Burlington Police Department identified that during the evening and early morning hours before Gage’s death he attended two UVM fraternities.

After first responders failed to revive his body, the individual in the snow was identified as Gage and he was pronounced dead.

It was at this point that the Burlington Police Department began its investigation, Murad said.

Murad said he is familiar with many claims circulating about what specific fraternities Gage was attending that evening, but would not name them.

Although the Burlington Police Department does not expect to press any charges, Murad said he hopes that there is a take-away following Gage’s death.

“I think there are certain things we would like to come out of this tragedy, and I think his family would like those things to come out as well,” Murad said. “Those things are a renewed promise amongst all us as neighbors that we will watch out for one another.”

While the investigation is still ongoing, UVM has not yet started its own investigative process into potential student conduct violations that occurred that night, said Annie Stevens, vice provost of student affairs.

UVM Bikes will hold a memorial ride to honor Gage’s death Feb. 12.