The fraternity whose Greek letters were spray-painted onto a dead whale in Atlantic City issued a statement Friday decrying the "reprehensible act."

"While we don't know if any of our members were involved, we have been in contact with the authorities and have offered our assistance in their investigations," reads the statement sent by Jesse Cohen on behalf of Tau Epsilon Phi Fraternity Inc., the national umbrella organization.

"This act is in direct contradiction with our mission statement and our teachings of friendship, chivalry, and service, and we wholeheartedly condemn it," it says.

Local chapter representatives have referred comment to the national organization.

Tau Epsilon Phi has 14 active chapters across the country, according to its website. The newest is at Rowan University, according to the list online, from April 2013. Rutgers-Camden's active chapter was founded in 1966; the University of Pennsylvania's chapter started in 1921.

The purple graffiti was discovered when Boardwalk ambassadors came across the two-ton minke whale around 8 a.m. Thursday. On a routine beach walk, they found the whale washed up dead under a pier, with what appeared to be the fraternity's letters followed by the number 94.

The Atlantic City Police Department is investigating the incident. Similar graffiti were also found on nearby Central Pier.

Sections of the 20-foot whale were carved for necropsy, and the rest was buried eight feet beneath the beach.