Sorority Sister Dies; Two Arrested for Intoxication at Parkwest
Kyrstin Van De Voort, a UC Irvine fourth-year economics major, died unexpectedly early Tues., April 1, shortly after arriving at Irvine Regional Hospital due to reasons that are yet to be determined.
The Orange County Fire Authority first arrived at the scene and administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the 21-year-old Temecula native, who was with friends at Parkwest Apartments located at 3100 Parkview Lane.
According to Lt. Rick Handfield, a spokesman for the Irvine Police Department, the department was first contacted at 1:20 a.m. Van De Voort was immediately rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly before 2 a.m.
The Irvine PD also issued the health and safety code for two subjects being under the influence of a controlled substance. According to Handfield, of the three to five people present when police arrived, Victor Guzman, 20, and Kayla Ayala, 21, both Irvine residents, were arrested. Ayala, who was arrested at 3:22 a.m., was Van De Voort’s sorority sister in Alpha Chi Omega, Epsilon Psi chapter at UCI.
“[Guzman and Ayala] were arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance, some kind of stimulant,” Handfield said. “There were narcotics or suspected illicit narcotics in the apartment and the officer suspected that it could have been cocaine.”
Alcohol was also found at the scene, but it is unclear if the substances contributed to Van De Voort’s death.
“It will take a couple of weeks for the coroner to do their investigation. Especially with toxicology studies, it takes some time to do,” Handfield said. “The tissues have to be cross-sectioned and sent away for analysis. It’s not simple for the doctor to say right away whether it was an overdose or alcohol or what. They’ll have to do an autopsy to determine all of those levels within her body.”
Police are also not ruling out pre-existing medical conditions that could have contributed to Van De Voort’s passing.
Several distressed members of the Greek community were concerned that the details of Van De Voort’s death were being misconstrued. Various members of Alpha Chi Omega declined to be interviewed, citing the Van De Voort family’s right to privacy.
“This is out of respect for Kyrstin’s family, who has asked that our organization, as well as the rest of the UCI campus, respect their privacy,” said Leslie Akizuki, president of Alpha Chi Omega and a third-year international studies major. Van De Voort’s Little Sis Lilian Yu, a second-year English major, also declined to comment.
Additionally, a Facebook group that grew to include approximately 80 members was created and then taken down in the days following Van De Voort’s death at the request of the family.
An emergency meeting was held Tuesday afternoon at the Alpha Chi Omega house with representatives from Campus Assault Resource Education and the Dean of Students, which offered resources to help anyone affected by the incident.
According to an anonymous source, Van De Voort was not only an active member of the sorority but also very family-oriented.
“She was a wonderful person who, if you got to know her or [met] her, there was not a cooler or more chill person,” said the source.
Guzman and Ayala will appear in court within a month after blood-test results are available to determine the controlled substance, according to Handfield.
A funeral for Van De Voort was held on Sun., April 6 at 2 p.m. at Sunridge Community Church in Temecula, Calif.
Van De Voort lived in Costa Mesa with two sorority sisters. She was scheduled to graduate this year, after which she planned to attend the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in September. Van De Voort is survived by her father Greg, her mother Binnie and her brother Kris.