LONGMONT, Colo. (KDVR) — A young Colorado woman plunged to her death from a hotel roof in New York City moments after a violent and very public fight with her boyfriend, according to police and witnesses.
Twenty-year-old Dezirae Andersen and her boyfriend, Tyler Griffin, were visiting the Big Apple to introduce his parents to their 8-month-old daughter. 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.
KDVR spoke with Andersen’s mother, Cheryl Young, who is reeling from the loss of her daughter and trying to bring her granddaughter back home to Colorado to be with family. The baby girl is currently in the custody of the Administration for Children’s Services in New York City.
“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.”
As of Thursday night, Young was also fighting to bring her daughter’s body back to Colorado for a proper burial. She has set up a fundraiser to help pay for costs.
NYPD called to OYO hotel for assault
Andersen’s mother said her daughter had just gotten a job at Children’s Hospital after earning a nursing degree from the University of Colorado.
Young said she was proud of her daughter, an aspiring model, and all she had 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.
Andersen died Tuesday night after falling multiple stories in New York City. New York Police Department officers were called to the OYO hotel in Times Square over a report of an assault in progress and found Andersen’s body on hotel scaffolding.
“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 of her first-born daughter.
Witnesses: Woman punched, kicked, dragged
Before the fall, NYPD said the woman and her boyfriend, 24-year-old 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. Nexstar station WPIX 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 happened next is unknown and still under investigation.
“I 100% believe that she did not jump,” Young told KDVR. “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 her daughter’s death.
“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 taken to Bellevue Hospital for an evaluation, police said.