“It makes your heart heavy.” Family and friends deeply saddened after ISU student dies at fraternity event


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – News 10 continues to follow devastating news coming out of the Sycamore community.

An Indiana State University fraternity has been suspended following a death investigation out of Clark County, Illinois. This after an event centered around a night of fun took a tragic turn.

“When you hear somebody like that passes away, you’re heart goes out to them,” said Kyle Steffee, a Sophomore at ISU.

“It’s just kind of a culture shock to realize this could actually happen,” added Kyla Carr, a Junior at ISU.

Words of anguish now flooding social media for 18-year-old Yiorgo Karnezis. One post reading, “There are no words. Our lives will never be the same.”

As a member of Greek Life, Steffee said the incident hits close to home. “For something like that to happen. It’s the last thought in your head, to think you’re going to lose someone at one of those events,” he said.

The unexpected happened early Sunday morning. That’s when the Clark County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call. Reports stated a person had fallen from a small boat into a pond. Officials arrived on scene to find Karnezis. He was taken to Terre Haute Regional Hospital where he later died.

“It’s tough. When you think about death and losing someone, especially for college students, a lot of people think they are invincible, and it’s just tragic anytime you lose someone,” said Willie Banks, Vice President for Student Affairs at ISU.

Karnezis was a freshman at the university. The school went on to say that he died during an overnight social event for Sigma Chi Fraternity near Marshall, Illinois. ISU confirms they have suspended all operations of the Sigma Chi Fraternity as protocol while officials investigate. “We just know that the event was registered through our sorority/fraternity life office, and we are still reviewing everything that is happening,” said Banks.

A representative from the Karnezis family sent News 10 this statement.

“Yiorgo was selfless when it came to his family and friends, and many people have been touched by his light. Yiorgo was full of love and laughter and could make an entire room happy with his contagious smile. During this difficult time, we ask that everyone cherish the good memories they have had with Yiorgo. Our family is very touched by the amount of love and support from both the Munster and the Indiana State community.”

For those struggling, grief counseling is being made available at the Student Counseling Center. For more information you can call (812) 237-3939.