Iowa State student found dead identified as daughter of MN Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chutich

The daughter of Minnesota State Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chutich and Allina Health CEO Dr. Penny Wheeler was found dead Friday outside her Iowa State sorority.

The parents confirmed her identity Saturday in a statement:

Olivia Chutich (Courtesy of the family)

“It is with great sadness that we confirm that Olivia Chutich, our beloved daughter, died in Ames, Iowa,” said Allina Health CEO Dr. Penny Wheeler and Minnesota State Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chutich. “Olivia was the light of our lives. We ask for privacy as we grieve this unimaginable loss.”

According to the Ames Police Department, officers responded to a medical call at Delta Delta Delta sorority at 302 Ash Ave. about 9:50 a.m. Friday. Officers found Olivia Chutich, 21, lying on the ground in the parking lot. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Police are investigating the death, and at this time have found no reason to suspect foul play, nor do they believe there is any danger to the community.

Angie Hunt, Iowa State University’s news service director, provided the following statement from the university: “The Iowa State community is saddened to learn of the death of one of our students. Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this difficult time. ISU is cooperating with the Ames Police Department, which is leading the investigation. The university is providing support and resources for students who are impacted.”

Margaret Chutich made news in 2016 as the first openly gay justice to be appointed to the Minnesota State Supreme Court.

Local politicians tweeted their condolences.

My heart aches today for MInnesota Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chutich and Penny Wheeler who lost their beloved daughter Olivia, a student at Iowa State. Margaret and Penny are wonderful people and they loved Olivia so much. As they said, she was “the light of our lives.” 🙏

— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) January 23, 2021

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