Woman found dead in athletic center’s locker room sauna

Death is ‘not considered suspicious’

A woman was found dead in the women’s locker room sauna at DuPont Athletic Center last Friday afternoon. She was not an MIT student.

The death is “not considered suspicious,” according to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office. Since foul play is not suspected, the office said it does not plan to release additional information to the public.

Police responded to a report of an “unresponsive female” at around 4:40 p.m. on Oct. 30, according to MIT police logs. The Cambridge Fire Department also responded and pronounced the woman deceased.

“DAPER staff as well as several student athletes were involved in the initial discovery and response,” Director of Recreational Sports Tim Mertz wrote in an email sent to an athletics staff mailing list. “MIT police are working to contact next of kin.”

Mertz thanked Senior Associate Dean of Student Life Judith McGuire Robinson in the email for making herself present and available “to speak with several Varsity Teams” after what he called a “traumatic and emotional event.”

Mertz encouraged those affected to reach out to the “tremendous Support Services provided on campus.”

The MIT News Office told The Tech that MIT has no procedure in place that requires staff to check on the locker room saunas on a periodic basis.

The communications director at Health Fitness Corporation, the Minneapolis-based contractor that staffs MIT’s athletic facilities, was travelling and could not be reached by press time for information about the company’s internal procedures.

The locker room closed following the incident: an email to campus at about 5:40 p.m. last Friday announced the closure. A follow-up email Saturday morning announced that the locker room had been reopened.