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More Than 1,500 Sign Petition To Reopen Case In Death Of Penn State Student

More than 1,500 people have signed a Change.org petition to convince the District Attorney in Centre Country to reopen the case of Penn State student Justine Gross. Gross died after an 11-story fall down a Beaver Terrace Apartments trash chute on November 10, 2021.

Gross’s body was found by police officers at the Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority transfer station at 2:45 a.m. on November 12, which was one day after she was reported missing. In February, the police officially closed their investigation and ruled that Gross’s death was an accident.

“Justine’s family members do not believe that she voluntarily went into the trash chute and have asked for Justine’s case to be reopened in the state of Pennsylvania,” the petition organizer, who appears to be Gross’s sister, Jasmine, wrote. “Her family needs your help to bring attention to her case to convince the District Attorney in Centre County Pennsylvania to reopen her case. They feel like there are still a lot of gaps that remain in the account of her last night alive. Help her family get justice for her by signing this petition.” 

During the investigation, police ran a toxicology analysis and found traces of marijuana and “an elevated level” of alcohol in Gross’s system when she died. In an interview with NJ.com shortly after her daughter’s death, Gross’s mother, Francoise, alleged that she’d spoken with a man who offered Justine a blunt on November 10. He said she “freaked out” after taking the drug, ran to the building’s top floor, and jumped into the trash chute. Francoise was “shocked”, as to her knowledge, Justine didn’t use drugs.

The petition says the man who gave Gross the blunt “was not thoroughly questioned about the blunt he admitted to giving to her the night of her death.” To this date, neither that man or anyone else have been charged or arrested in relation to Gross’s death.

Gross’s family believes the “non-cohesive video footage” they were shown doesn’t tell the whole story about how she ended up in the trash chute.

Back on November 18, State College community members gathered at Beaver Terrace to honor Gross’s life.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is suddenly Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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