Father says alcohol killed son, urges KU fraternity to ban drinking

Jason Wren with his father, Jay.

Jason Wren with family.

A Kansas University freshman found dead Sunday inside the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house was killed by alcohol, his father said.

According to reports from police and friends, Jason Wren, 19, died after a night of drinking multiple margaritas with friends at a local establishment, followed by drinking between 10 and 12 beers at the fraternity house, 1301 West Campus Road, and then walking around with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, said his father, Jay Wren, of Littleton, Colo.

“These kids have got to know it’s alcohol that killed him and it’s a dangerous environment to be in a drinking fraternity,” Jay Wren said during an interview with the Journal-World on Tuesday. “It killed my son.”

When Jason Wren passed out, his fraternity brothers put him in bed and when he stumbled out of bed, they didn’t take him to the hospital, his father said.

“The thing that makes me the most angry is they knew the alcohol problem and they didn’t report that in,” he said.

Lawrence police and the coroner have not released any results from Monday’s autopsy, but Jay Wren said they indicate his son’s urine contained alcohol, though it will take up to two weeks to determine how much. He said the autopsy looked normal and did not indicate signs of a heart attack or asphyxiation.

Lawrence police said they have completed their investigation of the young man’s death, but won’t announce an official cause of death until toxicology results are available, Sgt. Bill Cory said.

Jason Wren had lived in the fraternity house only for a few weeks, moving in after he was kicked out of a KU dorm for having a shot glass and a beer, his father said.

Now Jay Wren is encouraging people touched by his son’s death to resist social drinking. He also has asked the president of the fraternity house to make it a dry house.

“Instead of raising your glass to Jason, put your drink down and quit,” he said.

Friends and family have gathered in a Facebook group to remember Jason Wren.

Jason Wren’s parents will come to Lawrence on Thursday to pick up his belongings and attend a memorial service at the fraternity house.

Jay Wren remembers his son as well-liked and athletic. He was a midfielder in the KU Lacrosse Club.

“You name the sport, and he played it,” Jay Wren said. “I know Jason’s in heaven, because he was a Christian and he accepted Christ as his savior, but I know if there’s not sports in heaven, he’s going to feel like he’s in hell.”

The pre-business major had aspirations of earning a six-figure income and was brilliant in calculus, Jay Wren said.

“It was a life cut way too short,” he said.