UCI Student Found Dead; Cause Undetermined
The body of Jacob Okoli, a third-year UC Irvine transfer student majoring in English, was found in the trunk of his car in Fontana with a gunshot wound to the head on Sunday morning, March 9. A small-hand caliber gun was also found in the trunk with the body. At present, authorities have yet to determine if Okoli’s death was the result of a suicide or a homicide.
“We don’t know if we will be able to rule one way or the other,” said spokesman for the Fontana Police Department Sgt. Jeff Decker. “It was definitely a suspicious death … [and] it could be just ruled as a suspicious death. We will be waiting for a gunshot residue test.”
UCI police first reported Okoli missing on February 25, four days after he was last seen. Because of the nearly three-week gap between the last time Okoli was seen alive and when his body was discovered, investigators have yet to pinpoint exactly when Okoli died.
However, what is known is that Okoli’s car, a 2005 Toyota Camry, was parked for several days on the 10030 block of Juniper Avenue in Fontana in the time leading up to the discovery of the body. Additionally, the body was in the early stages of decomposition, signifying that Okoli was not found immediately after his death, Decker confirmed. Fontana police found no marks of attack or signs of struggle on the body.
UCI students and staff have also reacted to Okoli’s death through a spectrum of emotions. Uchechi Alozie, a fifth-year sociology major, responded to Okoli’s passing by making a Facebook group, “Let Us Remember Our People… R.I.P. Jacob C. Okoli,” which has roughly 250 members.
According to Alozie, while she was disturbed by a lack of information released by UCI about Okoli’s passing, she was more bothered by the lack of information released following his initial disappearance.
“Anytime that there has been a crime in the campus