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Body found on GVSU campus identified as student

Posted at 5:01 PM, Dec 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-12 20:35:50-05

ALLENDALE, Mich. — UPDATE: The body found on GVSU's campus Saturday was identified as a student, according to GVSU president Philomena Mantella

"I am deeply saddened to inform you that the deceased found earlier today on our Allendale Campus, near the intramural fields and cross-country trail, has been identified as a Grand Valley student, and police have notified the family." Mantella says. "This is heartbreaking news for our entire community. I offer my deepest condolences to the student’s family and friends. We are not sharing the student's name out of respect for the family."

The university president said GVSU police will have extra officers on campus and are offering counseling services. Anyone in need counseling or other services can call the Dean of Students Office 616-331-3585 or

"This is a jarring and shocking event for all of us. This tragedy reminds us of the importance of each member of our university community." Mantella said. "Please keep the student’s family in your thoughts and offer your support to those who have lost a friend and fellow student."


A runner reported the body near the intramural athletic fields south of West Campus Drive Saturday morning. Police have not identified the body yet.

Grand Valley sent a warning to all of their students advising caution when alone on campus.

"Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times." the email obtained by FOX 17 reads. "At the first sign of danger, or if you see suspicious activity, call 911. If you see someone who could be in trouble, speak up or call authorities."

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, GVSU Police, and Michigan State Police are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call Grand Valley State University Police Department at 616-331-3255 or Silent Observer at 877-887-4536.