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‘Somebody knows something’: Student mysteriously left to die in the middle of the road after house party as family demands answers

Mia Kanu (WJBK screenshot)

Mia Kanu (WJBK screenshot)

The death of Mia Kanu — a 23-year-old veterinary student who left a Michigan house party earlier this month only to be mysteriously ejected from a moving car and left on the road to die — is currently being investigated as a possible homicide, authorities confirmed to Law&Crime.

“This is a death investigation, and we are evaluating all possibilities, to include homicide,” Aaron Huguley, deputy chief of the Southfield Police Department, wrote in an email to Law&Crime Thursday afternoon. Deputy Chief Huguley declined to provide any additional details on the matter, citing the ongoing investigation.

SPD officers at about 4:32 a.m. on June 3 responded to a strip of road in front of the Coach House Apartments on Providence Drive, about 15 miles northwest of Detroit, in regards to a report about an adult female lying motionless in the street, the Detroit Free Press reported. The female — later identified as Kanu — was transported to Ascension Providence Hospital in Southfield where medical personnel said she had suffered severe head trauma and admitted her into the intensive care unit and placed her on life support.

The person who called 911 was reportedly a passerby who did not know Kanu.

Kanu remained in the hospital for two days before she was declared dead on June 5, but remained on life support for an additional three days because she was an organ donor. According to the Free Press, staffers at Ascension Providence honored Kanu with a “walk of life” ceremony as she was brought to the operating room.

“There was no brain activity. Her liver went to a baby, her kidneys went to a recipient and her tissues and muscles were donated to the Gift of Life,” her mother, Bianca Vanmeter, told the newspaper. “She just looked like a beautiful angel laying in bed.”

Vanmeter reportedly said that she saw her daughter before she went to work at the Green Lantern restaurant in Berkley on the morning of June 2. When Kanu finished her shift at the restaurant, her mother said she was picked up by a female friend who was staying at her house along with her daughter and the two went with friends to a house party.

Vanmeter said that the car Kanu’s female friend drove to pick her up from work was the same vehicle that Kanu either fell or was pushed out of after the party. Police have said there were two other people in the vehicle, but the car reportedly did not stop to check on Kanu, nor did any of the occupants call 911 for medical assistance.

“Something happened and somebody knows something, and we just want those answers,” her mother told Detroit Fox affiliate WJBK. “If they could just tell the true story of what happened and why they didn’t go back for her, why they didn’t help her more. I would really want to know that.”

Police reportedly obtained surveillance footage of Kanu being ejected from the car as the vehicle continued driving.

Authorities told WJBK that they were able to locate the two individuals who were in the car with Kanu, noting that they were both “cooperating with the investigation” into her death.

“It’s our understanding that there was an argument between the driver and another individual in the parking lot of the apartment complex that they had left,” Southfield Deputy Police Chief Jeff Jagielski told the station. “Anytime we have an untimely death of an otherwise healthy individual, we investigate as a homicide until evidence shows otherwise.”

Jagielski also noted that there was no evidence to suggest that Kanu was struck by another vehicle.

Authorities are reportedly awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine Kanu’s ultimate cause of death.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.