Los Angeles

Detectives Asking For Public's Help to Find UCLA Student's Killer

Homicide investigators have placed a security hold on autopsy results.

Police canvassed Westwood Tuesday night, asking for the public's help with any information that may help lead them to the person responsible for the death of a UCLA sorority member they now believe was killed before her apartment was set ablaze.

The woman was UCLA student and member of Pi Beta Phi, Andrea "Andy" DelVesco, the sorority confirmed Tuesday.

LAPD Detective Lauren Rauch confirmed to NBC4 Tuesday night that there is evidence leading investigators to believe DeVesco was murdered prior to the Monday morning blaze in her apartment, and that the fire was likely set in an attempt to cover up the killing.

Investigators do believe her slaying was an isolated incident.

DelVesco was remembered as a "fearless giver" with a "contagious spirit," Pi Beta Phi chapter president Jacquie Medeiros said in a statement provided to the Los Angeles Times.
DelVesco, 21, was a fourth year student, double-majoring in Spanish and psychology, according to Facebook postings. Last year, she had been honored by her sorority as an "angel of the week."
Like many of her sorority sisters, DelVesco lived apart from the house on sorority row in an apartment on the west side of campus.
Her body was discovered by firefighters responding to a fire that erupted and was limited to DelVesco's room of an apartment she shared with roommates. Tuesday afternoon, they were moving out with assistance from UCLA student housing.
A University Police officer standing watch said they did not to talk to media.
Almost immediately after the fire was extinguished, arson and homicide investigators were called in. Whether it appeared DelVesco had died during the fire or before the blaze began was not disclosed. 
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck confirmed that a "person of interest" is being sought. Speaking at noon Tuesday, Beck said cause of death had not been determined. Investigators directed the coroner's office to place a security hold on autopsy results.
A woman's voice was heard yelling, "get out," and a man had been seen leaving the apartment after the fire started, a neighbor who identified herself as Reina said she was told by a friend of the victim.  
DelVesco is from Austin, Texas. Her parents flew to Los Angeles Monday night and met with a coroner's investigator Tuesday.
DelVesco was remembered as an enthusiastic employee at both the Jamba Juice in the UCLA Student Union, and at a Brentwood law firm, the Biren Law Group, where she had begun working during summer.
She had a "great spirit," said Dee Dee Biren, who recalled meeting DelVesco on a plane trip and being impressed with her attitude and outgoing nature.
In her memory, sorority members have begun wearing ribbons of maroon — a Pi Beta Phi color.
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