GRPD investigates possible homicide of GV TRiO program adviser
The Grand Rapids Police Department is investigating the possible homicide of a Grand Valley State University employee, who was found dead Tuesday in a house on Myrtle Street after not having been seen or heard from in a few days.
Previous reports say Santiago Zapata, 50, had suffered traumatic injuries that resulted in his death.
Zapata worked as a program adviser in the College of Education’s TRiO Education Talent Search department, where he worked with local primary and secondary students.
“Santiago was a cornerstone of the trio education talent search department,” said Elaine Collins, dean of the College of Education. “He worked tirelessly on behalf of the disadvantaged students, and he will be greatly missed.”
Medical examiners performed an autopsy on the body Wednesday morning, but the results have not yet been released.
However, GRPD Detective Tim DeVries confirmed that the house showed signs of a struggle. DeVries could not offer further information, but noted that the police are “treating this very cautiously and carefully.”