A Mather House sophomore was found dead in his common room Saturday morning, College officials said yesterday.
Richard O. Carne died some time Saturday morning after 1:30 a.m., when friends last spoke with him. At 10:00 a.m. Michael Albert '89, who had been sleeping on the lower level of their Mather House duplex suite, climbed the stairs to the common room and discovered his body.
Albert did not return a message left at his home in Weston yesterday.
Dean of Students Archie C. Epps Ill said the doctors who examined Carne's body had ruled out suicide as a cause of death. Epps added "we have no reason to believe that someone did something to him."
Neither College administrators nor friends of Carne could say whether the Mather House sophomore had any health condition that could have led to his death.
Middlesex County Medical Examiner George Hori said an autopsy had already been performed on the body, and that his office has begun an investigation into the cause of death. The examiner added, however, that he was not yet prepared to state the cause of death publicly. Mather residents called to an all House meeting Saturday afternoon were told that Carne died of heart failure.
Mather Co-Master Nancy Williamson said she expected the report from the autopsy to become public later this week. "It's going to make this a lot easier for the Mather community when we have a clearer idea of the cause of death," she said.
Both Williamson and Epps declined to speculate on the results of the autopsy.
Carne's parents, who recently moved from England to Mendham, N.J., declined to comment on his death. Epps said he had notified them Saturday evening.
Described as a loner, Carne "floated" this fall into his Mather House suite with a three-member rooming group of juniors, who later moved off campus. Carne remained alone in the suite for several months, until late last week, when three juniors moved in. According to friends who lived near Carne, his new roomates had only known him for a few days.
"Richard was not the intense extracurricular Harvard student," said Jon E. King, who was Carne's freshman proctor in Pennypacker Hall. Instead of joining organized activities, Carne "was more of a social person," King said.
King said Carne had chosen his History and Literature concentration as a compromise among many fields in which he was knowledgeable. His achievements in high school included winning a Time Magazine essay contest with a paper on the effort to reunify East and West Germany.
"He certainly was one of the more broadly educated people before even getting here," said King. He said Carne had lived and traveled throughout Europe with his family, and that his background was "cosmopolitan."
"I knew him as a smiling face, as a friendly person," said Williamson. "He seemed like a very happy person," she said.
Students who spoke with Carne Friday night,said they last saw him in an unusually good mood.Cynthia V. Hooper '89 and Marissa E. Ghez '89 saidthey ate dinner with him in Mather House, where hewas discussing plans to woo a student who lived inthe Mather tower.
"All the plans you make and believe in are justbig jokes, really," said Hooper, who recalled thathe had meant to visit the woman with a bottle ofchampagne.
Ghez said she visited the student's room as ascout on Carne's behalf, but found that she wasnot at home. Carne said he would deliver thechampagne the following night, she said.
Afterwards, said Ghez, she and Carne ordered apizza and chatted. Midway through the eveningCarne visited an Adams House party briefly, butGhez said he did not seem intoxicated when helater returned to her room.
"He talked about his classes and the fact thathe was going to take guitar for credit and that hehad no classes Monday, Wednesday and Friday--hewas really psyched about that," said Ghez. Ataround 1 a.m. Ghez said she needed to sleep andCarne left. "And he said, 'Okay, see youtomorrow,'" she said