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GVSU safety director issues statement regarding student death

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Posted at 8:53 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 20:53:50-05

ALLENDALE, Mich. — Chief of Police Brandon DeHaan with Grand Valley State University's Department of Public Safety issued a statement to parents this afternoon regarding the death of Taylor DeRosa.

In the statement, Chief DeHaan says there is no apparent threat to the public, adding that investigators are actively working on finding answers.

The full statement reads:

"We continue to receive questions about the status of the current investigation into the death of our student Taylor DeRosa, and I want to assure everyone that the Grand Valley State Police Department continues its work. The worry of parents and students is apparent and understandable.

While the community would like to have all the answers into this incident now, we are unable to provide detailed information into the investigation, not because we are attempting to hide or mislead people, but because we must respect the integrity of the investigative process and the family of our student. We continue to communicate with the family and understandably, this has been a very difficult season for them.

More than 25 police and support staff from three different law enforcement departments, GVPD, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan State Police worked the investigation December 12, 2020, the day Taylor was found. Investigators are still working this case. There are additional witnesses who need to be interviewed. Most of those witnesses left the area to return home for the holidays, and we are waiting for them to return in the coming days. We are also still awaiting the toxicology report from the lab, which we believe will offer important information. I am hopeful that we will obtain the lab report later this month.

Let me attempt to allay the concerns of parents and students. If my children were still attending GVSU, I would have no concern for them living on or near the Allendale Campus. I say this as a parent whose daughter and son were Lakers. I have publicly shared that I do not believe there is a threat to the general community, and I have not seen anything from the outcome of the investigation so far that has changed my mind. While many members of the GVPD are Lakers for a Lifetime, know that our judgment will not be swayed. Our integrity as a department to seek the truth is paramount with this and any investigation we conduct. Please understand these investigations take time and we ask the community to continue to be patient."
Chief of Police Brandon DeHaan, GVSU Director of Public Safety

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