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Who is Olivia Chutich? Daughter of first openly gay Minnesota SC judge died of alcohol poisoning, hypothermia

The 21-year-old Iowa State University student was found dead on January 22 in the Tri-Delta Sorority parking lot. Ames PD said that there was no evidence of foul play found at the scene
Olivia Chutich with her mothers, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chutich and Allina Health CEO Penny Wheeler (Instagram/olivia.jenifer)
Olivia Chutich with her mothers, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chutich and Allina Health CEO Penny Wheeler (Instagram/olivia.jenifer)

AMES, IOWA: On January 22, 2021, at 9:49 a.m., the Ames Police Department responded to a medical call at Delta Delta Delta Sorority, 302 Ash Avenue. The caller reported a college-aged female was found unconscious in the parking lot. When officers arrived, they found her already dead on the ground in the parking lot. 

As per an Ames PD statement, “Investigators processed the scene, canvassed the area, and completed numerous follow-up interviews. There was no evidence of foul play found at the scene.” On Wednesday, February 24, Ames PD announced the college student's cause of death following an autopsy report: an accidental death caused by acute alcohol intoxication and hypothermia. As per the police statement, an autopsy was completed on January 24, 2021, by the State Medical Examiner’s Office. 


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Who is Olivia Chutich?

As per reports, the 21-year-old Iowa State University student is the daughter of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chutich -- the first openly gay justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court -- and Allina Health CEO Penny Wheeler. Born in Guatemala, Chutich was a junior in communications studies. She attended Breck School -- an independent college-preparatory school in Golden Valley, Minnesota -- from kindergarten to her graduation in 2017. A student at Iowa State, she was a member of the Tri-Delta sorority. 

As per an obituary of Chutich written by her mothers, “We weren't perfect parents, and she wasn't a perfect child, but we were a perfect match. And what a love story it was.” The obit further read: “Her vibrant spirit, heart-on-her-sleeve emotions, kindness, compassion, and glorious smile are remembered by all who crossed her path. Olivia loved gathering with family and friends, playing games (especially "Set" in which she trounced everyone), and cheering on the Gopher and Cyclone teams in sporting events. She made family events much more fun by finding just the right person to tease.” 

Members of her sorority wrote that they were "heartbroken" over the "devastating loss." They said in a eulogy, "We know the days and weeks ahead will be difficult, but we will always remember Olivia's contagious laugh, bubbly personality, and positive outlook on life. She lit up every room she walked into and made an impact on every single person she met. We are grateful to have been a part of her beautiful life and to have shared a special bond of friendship with her."


A private family service was held at 2:00 p.m. on January 30, 2021. As per Ames PD, her family has asked for privacy as they grieve this loss. Ames PD also asked anyone with information regarding this incident to come forth.

They can call the PD office at 239-5133 or the anonymous tip line 239-5533, or also contact Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa at 515-223-1400. Online anonymous tips may be submitted to Questions regarding this press release may be directed to Commander Jason Tuttle, Ames Police Department, at (515) 239-5312 or (515) 239-5133.