LONGMONT, Colo. (KDVR) — A young Colorado woman fell to her death from a hotel roof in New York City. The deadly fall happened moments after a violent and very public fight with her boyfriend, according to police and witnesses.
Nexstar affiliate FOX31 spoke with the victim’s mother, Cheryl Young, in Longmont, who is reeling from the loss.
Dezirae Andersen and her boyfriend, Tyler Griffin, were visiting the Big Apple to introduce his parents to their 8-month-old daughter for the first time. According to witnesses, the physical altercation was so disturbing and loud that night that several hotel guests called 911 in fear for Andersen’s life.
Andersen leaves behind her baby girl, who is now in the custody of the Administration for Children’s Services in New York City. But Young is fighting to bring her granddaughter home.
As of Thursday night, Young is fighting to bring her daughter’s body back to Colorado for a proper burial and her granddaughter back to Colorado to be with family. Unfortunately, that costs money, and she set up a fundraiser to help. If you’d like to donate, click here.
“I just keep thinking about how scared and confused she must be, given that she’s only 8 months old,” Young said. “I just want to get her back home where she’s with people that she knows and feels safe with.”
NYPD called to OYO hotel for assault
Andersen was 20 years old with her whole life ahead of her. Her mother said she graduated from Lakewood High School, earned a nursing degree from the University of Colorado and just got a job at Children’s Hospital.
Young said she was so proud of her daughter and all she accomplished. She said her daughter’s true passion was being in front of a camera.
“She loved fashion. She was always trying to find the cutest outfits,” Young said.
The aspiring model and mother died on Tuesday night after falling multiple stories in New York City. New York Police Department officers were called to the OYO hotel in a busy Times Square for an assault in progress and discovered Andersen’s body on hotel scaffolding.
Young is now mourning the loss of her first-born daughter.
‘I was in shock. I didn’t want to believe it. It doesn’t even feel real. I just keep thinking, I wish I could’ve been there to protect her and thinking about how scared she must have been,” Young said.
Witnesses: Woman punched, kicked, dragged
Before the deadly fall, NYPD said the woman and her boyfriend, 24-year-old Tyler Griffin of Littleton, were fighting in the hotel room. That’s when the heated altercation spilled out into the hallway.
“It got physical,” Young said. “He ended up hitting her multiple times.”
Witnesses say Andersen was punched repeatedly, kicked and dragged. The Nexstar station in New York reported that, according to sources, Griffin pushed his girlfriend through a fire door on the 10th floor and locked her outside.
What happens next remains a mystery and is still under investigation. Questions are swirling, like was the battered mother pushed, did she jump or did she accidentally fall trying to get inside?
“I 100% believe that she did not jump,” Young told FOX31. “I know my daughter and I know her well enough to know that she would not do that. She loved her baby very much, and I can never imagine her leaving her behind like that.”
Young said she had no idea about the abuse and just learned about it after the crime.
“From other people, I’ve heard that he had been abusive before and that she tried to leave and ended up going back,” Young said.
‘I wish she would have talked to me’
Emotional and choking back tears, Young said she wishes her daughter would have confided in her and asked for help.
“It really hurts me very deeply, because I myself have been a victim of domestic violence and it really breaks my heart, and I wish she would have talked to me,” Young said.
NYPD has not accused Griffin of his girlfriend’s death, but he faces counts of assault, reckless endangerment and acting in a manner injurious to a child under 17. WPIX reports that police sources described Griffen as emotionally disturbed, and said arriving officers had to use a Taser to subdue him. He was brought to Bellevue Hospital for an evaluation, police said.