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UC Berkeley student is found dead

May 19, 2008|Richard C. Paddock | Times Staff Writer

Authorities are investigating the death of a UC Berkeley student whose body was found on the patio of his apartment building hours after he graduated with a degree in anthropology.

Alan Kaname Hamai, 22, of Redondo Beach apparently fell from the roof of the three-story building early Saturday. His body was found by another resident of the building, and he was pronounced dead at 6:40 a.m., according to the Alameda County coroner's office. An autopsy was scheduled for today.

Hamai's parents attended his graduation ceremony Friday and were on their way back to Southern California on Saturday when they were notified of his death, according to the university.

A woman who answered the phone at the family residence declined to comment.

Hamai is the second UC Berkeley student from Southern California to die outside a student hall this month.

Engineering student Christopher Wooten, 21, of Bellflower was stabbed in a sorority parking lot early May 3 after two groups of young men got into an argument.

Wooten, an officer in the Sigma Pi fraternity, was weeks from graduating. Andrew Thomas Hoeft-Edenfield, 20, a student at Berkeley City College, was arrested and charged with killing Wooten.

UC Chancellor Robert Birgeneau extended his condolences to Hamai's family. "In all my years in higher education, this has been among the saddest and most tragic times for a university community that I have known," he said. "Alan Hamai's death and the terrible loss of others in the Cal family this year has been deeply felt by a great many of us."

University health workers have met with Hamai's roommates to provide assistance.

"As we mourn for our latest loss," Birgeneau said, "I urge each of you to look after yourself and to reach out to support and care for your friends, classmates and co-workers."

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richard.paddock@latimes.com

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