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Two men arrested after high school cheerleader died in fall from Hawaii hotel balcony

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 14 2004 9:42 a.m. MST

KAANAPALI, Hawaii (AP) — Two California men were arrested in the death of an 18-year-old New Jersey cheerleader whose naked body tumbled from the ninth floor balcony of a Maui hotel.

The two men, whose identities were not immediately released, were arrested Tuesday on charges of second-degree murder in the death of Lauren Crossan, of Randolph, N.J., said Lt. Tivoli Faaumu.

Crossan was part of a group from the National Association of American Cheerleaders that was on Maui to participate in Saturday's Hula Bowl college football game. Her body was discovered Monday morning on the grounds of the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort, where she had been staying.

The two men, ages 19 and 20, were registered to the room from which Crossan fell, police said. They were on vacation and not connected to the game or to the cheerleaders' group, Faaumu said.

The men told police that Crossan was in their room when they fell asleep early Monday. Her clothes and personal belongings were still in the room when police arrived to question them, but the men said they didn't know what happened to her, Faaumu said.

"There was some inconsistency in the statements we received from them," Faaumu said. "With all of that, we feel that we have enough probable cause to hold them for questioning at this time."

Crossan had traveled to Maui with two other seniors from Randolph High School and one of the other girl's mothers, who was accompanying them as a chaperone. The three girls had been selected in June by the national organization to perform with nearly 600 other cheerleaders from across the country at the Hula Bowl's halftime show.

The chaperon received a call from Crossan at about 1:30 a.m. Monday saying she was OK and would be returning to her room in the hotel, Faaumu said. When she didn't show up, the others went to look for her but couldn't find her, Faaumu said. A hotel guest spotted her body later that morning.

An autopsy confirmed Crossan died of injuries suffered in the fall, Faaumu said. He said the investigation into her death was continuing.

The girl's school is about 30 miles west of New York City in an affluent area of New Jersey. A message left Wednesday morning with the school district seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Crossan was captain of Randolph High School's cheerleading competition squad. Because of her strength, she was a "base," holding up and catching teammates during performances.

"She never let anyone fall," Nicole Ciolko, former cheerleading team captain, told The Star-Ledger of Newark. "She was just a very strong girl."

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