19-Year-Old Penn State Student Found Dead After Falling Into Trash Chute

A 19-year-old student of Penn State tragically died after falling 11 stories down a trash chute last week.

Justine Gross‘s death is still under investigation, but according to the State College Police Department, the incident “appears to be accidental in nature.”

19-Year-Old Penn State Student Found Dead After Falling Into Trash Chute
Image via Shutterstock

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Gross was last seen Nov. 10 and was reported missing the next day the State College Police Department said in a press release. The SCPD said Gross is believed to have fallen into the chute around 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 10. Her body was then discovered at recycling and refuse transfer station in the morning on Nov. 12 after the trash receptacle had been hauled away.

Her obituary reads as follows

“Justine Marie Elizabeth Gross of Summit, NJ, passed away tragically on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, at the age of 19. Justine was born on June 11, 2002, to Francoise Owarish-Gross and Jawanza Gross. She grew up in Summit with her parents, older sister Jasmine Owarish-Gross, and younger brother, Joseph Gross.”

“Justine was a 2020 graduate of Summit High School in Summit, NJ. While in high school she was a varsity cheerleader for the Summit High School cheerleading team and was one of the varsity cheer captains her senior year. Justine was an honors student throughout her time in high school and was a recipient of the National Society of High School Scholars.”

19-Year-Old Penn State Student Found Dead After Falling Into Trash Chute
Image via Bradley Funeral Homes

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“She was a lifelong member of Kumon, starting as a student at the age of four and working as an assistant tutor/grader from the ages of 14-18. Justine attended UCLA Summer Programs during her high school years. After high school, she went to Penn State University Park in State College, PA, and was a sophomore at the College of the Liberal Arts at the time of her death. During her freshman year, she was an active member of the Penn State University dance organization Volé. Justine also did two summer internships at BNY Mellon throughout her college years.”

“Justine was a ray of sunshine. She had a sassy and fun personality. Justine was a beautiful person inside and out. She loved music, dancing, learning about fashion and makeup, and lovingly teasing her family members. Justine had a vibrant and infectious personality that helped her connect with others easily. She had a laugh and a smile that could brighten anyone’s day. When Justine was not cruising around in her Jeep in her hometown, she could be found in her room having a dance party. She always brought so much life, warmth, and joy to her family at home.”

“Justine is survived by her parents, Francoise Owarish-Gross and Jawanza Gross, siblings Jasmine Owarish-Gross and Joseph Gross. She is also survived by grandparents France and Jocelyne Owarish, aunt Corinne Owarish and cousin Samantha Reddick, aunt Janel and uncle Jeffrey Beckett and cousin Jason Wright, aunt Tamu, uncle Papa Maniang, cousins Fatouja, and Madeline Seck, cousins Cyrus and Jennifer Allen, and cousin Christina Radicella. She is predeceased by grandparents Joseph Gross and Carolyn Gross Norris, and aunt/godmother Clarel Radicella.”

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