Penn State student dies after 11-story fall in trash chute, police investigates


CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — State College Police and the Centre County Coroner’s Office continue to investigate circumstances surrounding a Penn State University student’s death. Justine Gross, 19, was reported missing on Thursday, Nov. 11, and her body was located the following day.

Get daily news, weather, and breaking news alerts straight to your inbox! Sign up for abc27 newsletters here!

After an initial investigation, both parties involved confirmed that Gross died after falling inside an 11th floor solid waster disposal chute at 456 E. Beaver Avenue. The 19-year-old fell into the waste receptacle on the ground floor.

Gross’ body was found when the waste receptacle was emptied by a Borough of State College refuse truck and taken to the Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority transfer station on Nov. 12, two days after her fall through the chute.

Video evidence suggests that Gross was alone in the 11th-floor hallway and in the waste disposal room prior to her fall.

The coroner’s office will determine the cause of death pending a final lab test. This is an ongoing investigation with eyewitness tests, video, and forensic evidence playing a role.

According to police, as of Friday, Nov. 19, the incident appears to be accidental.

This is a developing story, check back for updates as the investigation reveals more information. Stay up to date on the latest from abc27 News on-air and on the go with the free abc27 Mobile app.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss