Beta Theta Pi mourns loss of Craig Turner

Elizabeth Golden

Beta Theta Pi member Craig Turner, 21, passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 21. Turner’s body was found by his roommates in their apartment near campus.

A specific cause of death has not been released, but the Kansas City Police Department reports he died of “natural causes.”

His church, Cornerstone Bible Fellowship, told members he passed away in his sleep.

Turner was in his fourth year in the six-year medical program and was an excellent student, according to Medical School Dean Betty Drees.

“Craig was a compassionate student, well on his way to becoming an outstanding physician,” Drees said in a statement to the public. ” His loss will impact not only those who knew him but also patients he would have treated.”

Born in Winfield, Kan., on Oct. 8, 1990, Craig was an active member of the swimming team. According to his Beta Theta Pi brothers, Turner set the Winfield High School record in freestyle swimming and competed in several state swimming meets.

While at UMKC, Turner quickly became an active member in Beta Theta Pi and the Medical School.

“He served a full term as the Scholarship Chair of the Epsilon Lambda Chapter, and encouraged all members to focus on and excel in academics,” Beta Theta Pi said in a statement released to fraternity alumni.

Turner is survived by his brother Heath Turner, a UMKC freshman and Beta Theta Pi member, by parents Wade and Laura and by siblings Brent and Lauren.

The Beta Theta Pi community is greatly saddened by this loss and asks everyone to keep the Turner family in their thoughts.

“Our hearts are with Craig’s family, friends and Beta Brothers across the nation during this difficult time of grief and loss,” chapter president Andrew Kraft said.

The UMKC police department, KCPD, Beta Theta Pi and Dean Drees declined to be interviewed for this article.

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