Police investigating mysterious death of college student found lying in the road


(SOUTHFIELD, Mich.) — Police in Michigan said they are investigating the mysterious death of a college student who was found in critical condition lying in the road earlier this month after somehow exiting a vehicle.

Mia Kanu, 23, was found in the early morning hours of June 3 in the roadway in front of an apartment complex, Southfield police said. She was transported to an area hospital in critical condition and later died, police said.

Kanu, a student at Tennessee State University in Nashville who was studying to become a veterinarian, was in her hometown of Southfield, a Detroit suburb, when she died.

How she ended up exiting the vehicle and her cause of death are under investigation, according to Southfield Police Sgt. Jared Womble.

“Currently, the cause of death is unknown, we are considering all possibilities including homicide,” Womble said in a statement to ABC News on Thursday.

The investigation will include an autopsy, he said.

Southfield Police Department Deputy Chief Jeffrey Jagielski told Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ that Kanu had “significant head trauma.”

“What question that has to be answered is to how the individual got to where she was at. Was it an accident? Was she pushed? And those are the questions that we’re trying to have answered at this point in time,” Jagielski told WXYZ.

The driver of the vehicle is cooperating with authorities, police said.

Kanu was pronounced dead on June 5 but was kept on life support for several more days so her organs could be donated, according to her family.

Kanu’s unexplained death has left her distraught mother searching for answers, as she now plans her daughter’s funeral.

“I want to know what really happened, and if you’re with friends, why they wouldn’t call 911,” her mother, Bianca Vanmeter, told WXYZ.

Kanu was remembered by her mother as someone who loved her church and animals and worked at a veterinary clinic.

At Tennessee State University, where she was a dean’s scholar, she conducted research at the campus’ Agricultural Research and Extension Center in the field of Food and Animal Science, according to the school.

“TSU is deeply saddened over the passing of Mia Kanu and send our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends,” the university said in a statement to Nashville ABC affiliate WKRN. “Mia is remembered as energetic and hardworking, with an immense love for animals.”

TSU research associate Emily Hayes, who was Kanu’s mentor at the Agricultural Research and Extension Center, told WKRN that Kanu’s love of animals was “absolutely apparent.”

“It is just heartbreaking to know that somebody so full of life is now gone,” Hayes told the station.

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