Police believe they've located missing ASU student's body

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Tempe Police believe they may have found the body of missing ASU student Jack Culolias.

Officers responded to the Salt River north of Tempe Marketplace Sunday afternoon after a volunteer searcher and K-9 with AZ STAR reported finding a body in the water 30 feet off the shore.

While the medical examiner will have to confirm the identity of the body, police said the clothing on the body leads them to believe that it is Culolias.

One of Culolias’ shoes was found near Tempe Town Lake during the initial search, but investigators eventually stopped searching the area when neither Culolias nor additional clues were found.

Culolias, 19, was last seen attending a fraternity event at Cadillac Ranch at the Tempe Marketplace on Nov 30. He was reportedly kicked out of the bar for being drunk, and was last seen leaving the venue.

One of the biggest questions police will now try to answer is how Culolius made it from the Cadillac Ranch bar all the way to the place where the body was found.  The distance is more than 300 yards and requires climbing a fence and traversing a steep embankment into the river bed.

Also unknown is what level of responsibility belongs to Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the fraternity holding the pledge event where Culolius was supposedly drinking underage.  When contacted for comment on this story Monday, the national chapter said it would have no official statement until the body is positively identified. 

When asked about disciplining the fraternity officials with ASU said, "Any allegations of misconduct by the fraternity will be investigated by ASU's Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities." 

However, ASU also said Tempe police have asked the university not to launch its own investigation or take any disciplinary action until police are finished reviewing the case and positively identify the body as Jack Culolius.  Tempe police originally said the body I.D. and cause of death could be ready as early as Monday or Tuesday, but now believe it could take a week or more.