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Body found near CSULB Parking Structure 1 identified

Nineteen-year-old Jerry Vu was a business major and dancer.

Jerry Vu, courtesy of his Facebook.

Jerry Vu, courtesy of his Facebook.

Jerry Vu, courtesy of his Facebook.

Michaela Kwoka-Coleman, News Editor

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Vu with his dance team at the Bridge 2015 dance competition.

Photo courtesy of Facebook.
Vu with his dance team at the Bridge 2015 dance competition.

The body found Friday morning near Cal State Long Beach’s Parking Structure 1 has been identified as Jerry Vu by authorities.

An investigation from the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner determined that Vu, 19, died as a result of blunt force head trauma.

His death has been ruled as suicide.

Vu was discovered early Friday by a group of CSULB faculty who alerted University Police, according to Terri Carbaugh, CSULB’s  associate vice president of government and media relations.

Although Vu was not currently enrolled at CSULB, his Facebook page said that he was studying business administration at the university. Michael Uhlenkamp, CSULB’s director of news and digital media, said the Vu was last enrolled in the university during the spring 2016 semester.

A resident of Huntington Beach, Vu was an avid dancer and recently joined The G.O.O.D Project.

Julian Talens, co-director of The G.O.O.D Project, said that the Irvine-based dance team stands for “growth out of dance” and focuses on happiness, humility and hard work. Although Vu was new to the company, Talens said he’s left nothing but positive memories.

“He was the type of person to make sure everyone around him was having a good time,” Talens said, “and also made you feel so comfortable around him that you could be yourself without holding back.”

Talens described Vu as being dedicated and hardworking.

“Jerry was the type of dancer that would consistently practice on the sides whenever he was not needed and made sure that his own growth as a dancer was defined through his own hard work,” Talens said. “Jerry was the physical embodiment of our mission statement which is to grow as a person and dancer through happiness, humility and hard work.”

Before joining The G.O.O.D Project, Vu danced for Common Ground, a collegiate dance team also based in Irvine.

Angelo Braza met Vu in 2015 while dancing for Common Ground. Braza recalled the the impact Vu had on him and the entire team.

“He always had a smile on his face, uplifted practice and overall had a great heart,” Braza said. “He was more than a teammate, he was my brother.”

Friday afternoon, a GoFundMe account was set up by Vu’s brother Thomas. Money from the drive will be used as a fund to help support artists and performers within the dance community.

As of Monday night, GoFundMe donors had raised $11,090; the original goal was $3,000.

Following the announcement of Vu’s body being found, CSULB President Jane Close Conoley sent a mass email to students, faculty and staff offering her condolences.

“This is a tragic event. It may cause distress among some members of the Beach community,” Conoley said in the email. “To assist, the university has a number of resources available for those who may want to speak with someone.”

Counseling and Psychological Services is available to students. It is located in Brotman Hall room 226 and is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.


4 Responses to “Body found near CSULB Parking Structure 1 identified”

  1. C.L. on November 8th, 2016 9:29 am

    How can a student who’s dedicated, hardworking, smiling all the time, involved….kills himself with blunt force trauma? How is that done? Sounds fishy to me.

  2. Anonymous on November 8th, 2016 12:26 pm

    Right? Like how in the world can they rule it right away as suicide. That’s bs.

  3. Anonymous on November 8th, 2016 12:51 pm

    A fall, accidental or not, could also produce blunt force trauma injuries. Blunt force trauma does not necessarily mean that someone else or the individual has caused the trauma.
    I hope that his family and loved ones find comfort in knowing that this beautiful young man has touched so many lives in a positive way.

  4. A.A. on November 8th, 2016 12:58 pm

    He was struggling with a lot, although despite that, still managed to make those around him feel warm and loved, and work hard through the things he pursued. Those who knew him can attest to the fact that he had all these great qualities; he was just going through a lot that was not seen on the surface. So. Yes. blunt force trauma, resulting from jumping off the structure. You don’t need to play detective for that one.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.


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