Recent graduate’s death under investigation

Nov. 8, 2010, 2:03 a.m.

San Francisco officials are investigating the death of a Stanford alumna, Jia Hou ’07, who graduated with a degree in psychology.

Hou died on Oct. 29 in San Francisco at age 25, said Alan Pringle of the city-county Office of the Medical Examiner last week. On Sunday, a spokesman for the office said the case was still under investigation and would be for at least several more weeks.

Recent graduate's death under investigation
The death of Jia Hou '07, left, is under investigation in San Francisco. (Courtesy of Bundy Chanock)

Word of Hou’s death had spread last week to some of the staff who worked in Freshman-Sophomore College (FroSoCo) when Hou lived there, including resident fellows Andrew Dimock and Sharon Palmer and former college assistants Cisco Barron ’04 and LaCona Woltmon ’04. They all declined to comment.

Quincy Tanner ’08, who lived in FroSoCo with Hou during the 2004-2005 school year, said Hou’s death was “really shocking” and recalled Hou as someone dedicated to fitness and culinary arts.

“She ran marathons quite frequently,” Tanner said, adding that Hou introduced him to running Campus Drive. Tanner and Hou shared an interest in gourmet cooking, which Hou often put to creative use in Ricker Dining, Tanner said.

Bundy Chanock, a San Francisco paramedic who met Hou during her Stanford years and stayed close with her after graduation, said Hou was going to culinary school in San Francisco at the time of her death.

“Her number-one dream was to have a job in a four-star restaurant as chef,” Chanock said. “Her second was to be a private chef.”

The medical examiner’s office investigates suspected homicides, suicides, accidental deaths and other unusual deaths. A San Francisco Police Department spokesperson declined to give information on the case and referred The Daily to the medical examiner.

Elizabeth Titus contributed to this report.

Ellen Huet is currently a senior staff writer at The Daily; she joined the staff in fall 2008 and served one volume as managing news editor in fall and early winter of 2010-2011. Reach her at ehuet at stanford dot edu. Fan mail and sternly worded complaints are equally welcome.

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