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Family of GVSU student who drowned calls death 'suspicious'

Muskegon Police say 18-year-old Taleah Lowe drowned in Lake Michigan at Pere Marquette Beach last week but her family claims her death is suspicious.

The police investigation into a South Haven woman's death continues.

"She was so silly, you know, like she had a good personality," said Isaiah Lane, the cousin of 18-year-old Taleah Lowe.

Muskegon Police say Lowe drowned in Lake Michigan at Pere Marquette Beach last week but her family claims her death is suspicious.

Muskegon Police say no foul play is suspected, however, Taleah's family members are raising money to hire a private investigator.

"She had a good heart, she was funny and smart, she was never the type to have any spite or ill will towards anybody," said Breyana McCurty, Taleah Lowe's sister.

Police say Taleah accidentally drowned while swimming with friends at the beach who are also Grand Valley State University students.

Firefighters and officers were dispatched shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14 on reports a swimmer was struggling in a rip current.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded with a boat and a helicopter and found her body in the water several hours later.

Taleah's family members say the whole story isn't adding up.

"I just think it's foul play because one, my sister is disabled, her arm, she has one arm that she's working with, you can tell it when you look at her," McCurty said.

"My thing is, why would my sister get into deep water and it's a tide and she knows she can't swim?"

A source, who wanted to remain anonymous, tells 13 On Your Side one of Taleah's friends who was there that night jumped into the water after seeing her and another friend far out into the lake in distress. 

She was able to help the other friend back to shore and thought Taleah was swimming right behind her, but she never returned. 

We're told the friends are now getting death threats because of Taleah's death.

The family has created a GoFundMe to raise money for the private investigator, as well as funeral expenses.

The medical examiner's office is still performing an autopsy. If you have any information, you're asked to call the Muskegon Police Department. 

Grand Valley State University released a statement saying:

The Grand Valley State community is mourning the loss of Taleah Lowe. While the Muskegon Police Department continues the investigation, our campus resources are being used to support those in our community who are experiencing trauma and intense grief. Student Affairs staff has been meeting with students and Taleah’s family and offering support.

We appreciate that there are often many questions with an incident of this nature, and we ask you limit speculation and share any pertinent information directly with authorities from the Muskegon Police Department .

In the meantime, those who need support may contact University Counseling. The Dean of Students Office also has additional services available. Faculty and staff who need support, may contact Encompass. More information can be found at Benefits and Wellness.

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