Officials have identified the person who was found dead on the Grand Valley State University's Allendale campus over the weekend as 18-year-old Taylor DeRosa.

DeRosa was a first year student at GVSU and a recent graduate of Royal Oak High School.

Her body was discovered Saturday morning, Dec. 12, by a jogger near the intramural athletic fields, south of West Campus Drive.

Police are calling the death suspicious. An investigation is ongoing.

Kyra Newman, a childhood friend of DeRosa tells Fox 17,

I just want people to remember Taylor for the type of person that she was, and how giving she was, how loving she was, and how positive she always was. She really was a force to be reckoned with. Her and I are the same age, and it just makes it all the more real that this could happen to anyone at any time.

Another friend, Aiden Lifter, who met DeRosa at GVSU says,

She was just such a happy person, and she was always dancing, she was always listening to music.

Wednesday at 7p.m., students have organized a vigil for DeRosa held around the clock tower on GVSU's Allendale campus. Attendants are asked to wear masks and maintain social distance.

A GoFundMe has been started for the DeRosa family to help with funeral expenses.

GVSU President Philomena V. Mantella released the following statement:

Our Laker community continues to mourn one of our own, while authorities continue to investigate the suspicious death. The family of Taylor DeRosa is aware of the outpouring of concern for their loss. Taylor became part of our on-campus community as a first-year student this Fall semester. Our thoughts and prayers surround the DeRosa family during this tragic time.

There is much we do not know about the cause of her death, and the investigation is ongoing. Grand Valley Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Brandon DeHaan assures us, at this time, it appears the general public and the campus community are not in danger. He is urging all of us to be patient while GVPD and other law enforcement agencies continue their investigation. We have a moral obligation not to spread misinformation that fuels unhelpful suppositions and may hamper the investigation.

We must support and care for each member of our Laker community. GVSU Counseling Center staff are ready to provide service to anyone who needs it, (616) 331-3266. The Dean of Students Office also has additional services available and can be reached at (616) 331-3585 or dso@gvsu.edu.

Tragedies have a way of focusing our attention to what matters most – the people around us. Keep the student’s family in your thoughts and offer your help and support to those who need it.

Anyone with information about the case asked to call GVSU police at 616-331-3255 or Silent Observer at 877-887-4536.

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