Death of Royal Oak graduate at GVSU ruled accidental, hypothermia and alcohol a factor

Taylor DeRosa, 18, was found dead at Grand Valley State University. Image: GoFundMe.

The death of 18-year-old Taylor DeRosa, who was found dead on campus at Grand Valley State University in December, has been ruled an accidental death by the Ottawa County Medical Examiner with hypothermia and alcohol a contributing factor.

According to information from the university, DeRosa's death was ruled accidental by the medical examiner.

"Taylor’s death is a terrible tragedy for her family and all those close to her," said GVSU President Philomena V. Mantella. "We are a caring community and our hearts go out to all who knew and loved Taylor. Our routines during COVID have put physical space between us, but we should work to stay emotionally connected, especially as we grieve the loss of a promising young woman who was part of our campus community."

A jogger discovered her body near the intramural fields on the Allendale Campus a little before 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 12, 2020.

Police had asked the campus and community not to panic and say that there was never any risk to anyone on campus.

A GoFundMe page was started for DeRosa's family to assist her mother, who "worked seven days a week at two different jobs to provide (DeRosa) the perfect life she deserved". The funds will be used to help ease the burden of a funeral and time off work. Any excess would be donated to a fund DeRosa would have supported.

Almost $70,000 was raised for her family.

The GoFundMe page lists DeRosa as an advocate for gun control, Black Lives Matter, women’s rights,  and "a host of other organizations and movements that supported human equality, fairness and truth."

DeRosa was a freshman at GVSU, majoring in international business and minoring in French.

According to Royal Oak Schools, DeRosa graduated from Royal Oak High School in 2020 and said she had an immensely positive impact on the community.