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Suspicious Death

Justine Gross

Was foul play involved in this Penn State University student's death?

  • Last updated: December 13, 2023
  • State College, PA
  • November 10, 2021

Overview of Justine Gross

Friends and family describe Justine as a ray of sunshine, a beautiful person inside and out.

Justine was a scholar throughout her high school years, a member of the National Honors Society, a lifelong member of Kumon, & attended the UCLA Summer Programs.

Justine attended Penn State University after high school, was a member of the dance organization Volé, and completed two summer internships at BNY Mellon when she was a sophomore.

Justine loved music, dancing, learning about fashion and makeup and when she was not cruising around in her Jeep, she could be found in her room having a dance party.

She had a laugh and a smile that could brighten anyone’s day.

The night of the incident

Justine lived in the Beaver Terrace Apartments about a block from the Penn State University campus. On the night of November 10th, 2021, Justine decided to leave her 10th-floor apartment and headed down to the 7th floor to hang out with a man she had met two days prior on November 8th.

While in the apartment, the man offered Justine to smoke marijuana with him, and she obliged. However, Justine quickly had a bad reaction to the marijuana and started panicking. Security footage shows Justine leaving the man's apartment, swaying and unable to walk straight and steadily. The man claims that he was attempting to bring Justine back to her 10th-floor apartment, but she ran away from him.

A few minutes later, security footage catches Justine running toward the trash room on the 11th floor. At 11:22 pm, Justine sends an alarming text on Snapchat to a friend that reads

‘Something just happened.’

Justine leaves her shoes and cell phone in a nearby stairwell, and enters the trash room— this is the last time Justine is seen on camera.

Justine falls down the trash chute

While there are no cameras in the trash room itself, it is known that just a few minutes after Justine sent that text, she plunged 11 stories down the trash chute and into the connecting dumpster.

Justine’s roommates became concerned when she failed to return home that night and stopped answering her text messages, They reported her missing at 5:15 pm the next day, November 11.

After watching security footage, authorities searched the Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority transfer station, where the trash from her apartment building is relocated– Justine’s body was found at 2:45 am on November 12.

Autopsy results

The Centre County coroner determined the cause of death for Justine as an accident, caused by multiple acute blunt-force trauma, due to the fall. Autopsy results reveal that marijuana and alcohol were present in Justine's liver at the time of her death.

Police rule out foul play once the results from the medical examiner are confirmed, ceasing the investigation altogether. Police also did not interview the man she was with the hour before she fell to her death, and he refuses to answer questions from Justine's family about those crucial minutes before she died.

Was it an accident or something more criminal?

Justine’s family is not convinced that her death was an accident, and cannot believe that she was so under the influence that she voluntarily threw herself down the chute. While her case was closed, her family and many others on social media believe that the circumstances around Justine’s death were suspicious and worth reinvestigating.

Justine's family started a petition to reopen Justine's case and fill in the gaps not accounted for during the original investigation. Please sign the petition to convince the District Attorney in Centre County Pennsylvania to reopen her case.


  1. Date of Death:November 10, 2021
  2. Birthday:June 11, 2002
  3. Age at Incident:19
  4. Gender:Female
  5. Hair Color:Black


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