One month since his death, VCU freshman Adam Oakes’ family continues to seek justice

Richmond

The cause of death remains unknown as family eyes legislation to reform Virginia hazing laws

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — One month after losing their loved one to an alleged hazing incident within Delta Chi’s VCU chapter, Adam Oakes’ family is still seeking justice. They said they will fight so no other family has to experience the same pain.

Adam’s body was found on West Clay St. in Richmond the morning of February 27.

The medical examiner told 8News that the cause of death is still pending.

Eric Oakes, Adam’s father, said the first thing he does every morning since his son’s death is cry, knowing he is no longer with him.

“One minute, I’ll be breaking down and my wife will be there to support me,” Oakes said. “Other times, I will be breaking down and be there to support her.”

The family is now closer than ever and Adam’s cousin, Courtney White, said his legacy has continued to live on.

“He left a legacy that is amazing,” White said. “I couldn’t be more proud of to be his cousin. All the people that have come forward and have told us stories about what he has done for them, truly his legacy lives on every single day.”

The Oakes family said hazing is only considered a misdemeanor in Virginia, and “Adam’s life is worth more than a misdemeanor.”

Adam’s father, Eric (Left) and Adam’s cousin, Courtney (Right) stand in front of the home where Adam’s bed is still made (Photo: Tyler Thrasher)

They have continued to advocate for more anti-hazing legislation, like making it a felony, to prevent this kind of incident from happening to another child.

Their goal is to create a non-profit to educate kids who are transitioning from high school to college about alcohol and fraternities.

While they encourage those who hazed him to speak out, they also encourage others to “live like Adam.”

“I love you. I miss you. I am sorry I wasn’t there to protect you. We are going to get justice for you.”

Eric Oakes, speaking to his son’s photo sitting next to him on the couch

WATCH THE FULL 8NEWS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE OAKES FAMILY:

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