New Jersey

Penn State Student Dies After Falling 11 Stories Down Trash Chute

A 19-year-old Penn State student who had been reported missing probably died after falling 11 stories down a trash chute in her campus apartment building, authorities said Friday.

Justine Gross, a sophomore from New Jersey, was reported missing Nov. 11 after not returning to her room the night before.

Police said a municipal trash hauler had emptied a dumpster at the base of the chute early Nov. 11 and took the trash to a dump, where officers found her body early Nov. 12.

Officers reviewed surveillance recordings showing the woman was alone when she entered a trash room on the 11th floor of her building, campus police said. They believe her death was an accident but await toxicology and autopsy reports.

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Gross' mother said to NJ.com that she had been told by her daughter's friends that she had met a man who gave her “a smoke" — referring to illegal drugs — shortly before she fell. She also raised concerns about some of her last communications with her daughter.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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