Adam Oakes’s family still can’t find his glasses.
The 19-year-old student at Virginia Commonwealth University had been wearing them in late February when he left his home. He wanted to attend an off-campus party with what he had hoped would be new friends in the Delta Chi fraternity, according to his family.
Eric, Adam’s father, didn’t know much about this fraternity, its troubled history on campus or the fact that it was recently reinstated. What’s more, he believed hazing to be a serious crime that would deter any life-threatening harm to his son. By 1 p.m. the next day when law enforcement showed up to tell him Adam died, he realized he was wrong.
The details are still unclear, but here’s what the family says they know based on conversations they have had with people at the party: Adam was given alcohol and expected to drink. He passed out the floor. In the morning, he was purple and without a pulse, and that’s when 911 was called.
Eric and Courtney White, Oakes’ cousin, believe someone knows more than they have shared. The missing glasses haunt them. Adam was basically blind without his glasses. How bad must the night have been for him to lose them?
“You don’t send your kid to college for this to happen,” said White. “Just as he’s starting to flourish, his life was cut short.”
Oakes’ story, though, is painfully familiar. For the past…