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Coroner: Death after Ohio protest was due to natural causes

Columbus protests
Posted at 9:35 PM, Jul 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-11 21:35:59-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — An autopsy has concluded that a recent Ohio State University graduate who died in late May after attending a protest in Columbus died of natural causes, authorities said.

Sarah Grossman, 22, died May 30, two days after having participated in a protest over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Her family released a statement in early June confirming that she had been exposed to pepper spray but saying there was “no evidence” that such exposure was a factor in her death.

According to the autopsy report provided by the Montgomery County coroner’s office, Grossman died of a coronary artery dissection due to a previously undiagnosed genetic condition known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a rare disorder that according to the Mayo Clinic affects connective tissue, primarily skin, joints, and blood vessel walls.

Grossman, a 2016 graduate of Springboro High School, graduated from Ohio State this year with a degree from the school’s Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability program and had planned to study Spanish at the Universidad of Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina, according to her obituary.

“Sarah was a fierce but compassionate supporter of environmental issues and social justice,” her family wrote in the obituary. “Those who knew her will understand what a beautiful soul the world has lost. She lived a short but full life.”

Floyd died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck even as he pleaded for air and stopped moving.