AMES, Iowa (WHOTV) — An Iowa State University student was found dead in the parking lot of the Delta Delta Delta sorority Friday morning.

The student was identified by her family as 21-year-old Olivia Chutich.

Chutich is the daughter of Allina Health CEO Dr. Penny Wheeler and Minnesota State Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chutich, who released the following statement:

“It is with great sadness that we confirm that Olivia Chutich, our beloved daughter, died in Ames, Iowa. Olivia was the light of our lives. We ask for privacy as we grieve this unimaginable loss. Thank you.”

Ames police officers were called to the Delta Delta Delta sorority on Ash Avenue Friday morning after another student discovered Chutich’s body in the parking lot.

“We believe one of the other girls in the house found her this morning,” Ames Police Commander Jason Tuttle said. “Medical personnel were summoned and pronounced her deceased at the scene.”

The Ames Police Department is waiting on autopsy results to determine her cause of death, but investigators believe the cold temperatures may have been a factor.

“We believe that she had been there since early morning hours likely, so that certainly could be a contributing cause for what happened. But at this point we don’t believe there was any type of assault or there’s any ongoing threat to the community,” Tuttle said.

Still, this news upset many other students.

“It was pretty shocking to know that someone was found dead in the Greek circle, especially at this time of year. There’s not even that many people around and the semester hasn’t started yet,” Iowa State sophomore Connor Durbin said.

The semester starts on Monday and Durbin reminds others to be safe and not walk home alone at night.

“It’s always easy to have one or two friends around, just kind of a little support group. Maybe let your friends know what’s going on so they can check in on you if something seems off,” Durbin said.

Iowa State University issued the following statement in response to Chutich’s death.

“The Iowa State community is saddened to learn of the death of one of our students. Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this difficult time. ISU is cooperating with the Ames Police Department, which is leading the investigation. The university is providing support and resources for students who are impacted.”


If you have any information, call the Ames Police Department tip line at 515-239-5533.