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MINNEAPOLIS - ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA

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Monday: Trespassing at elevators ends in fatal 100-foot fall

Police: The grain elevators were fenced off and clearly marked "no trespassing."
Germain Vigeant's brother warned her a few weeks ago to stay away from the abandoned grain elevators just blocks from where she lived in southeast Minneapolis, but police said early Sunday that the 20-year-old woman trespassed onto private property, climbed 10 stories up an elevator and apparently fell to her death.

The University of Minnesota junior was pronounced dead at the scene.

"She was absolutely one of a kind," said her mother, Laurel Vigeant. "She was a fun, well-rounded, emotionally sound, fun kid."

Police said Germain Vigeant was with a 20-year-old Minneapolis man, identified by a university official as a fellow student, when she fell. The man called police about 3:45 a.m. He is cooperating with authorities.

Police spokesman Ron Reier said the man had been to the elevators before and was showing Vigeant around when she fell from the top of the structure, believed to be more than 100 feet tall. The elevators at 973 13th Av. SE. are fenced off and marked "no trespassing," Reier said.

"Yes, it is suspicious because [they had] no business being there," Reier said. Police are investigating "whether a crime was committed."

Laurel Vigeant said her daughter had never been to the elevators before Sunday. When Germain broached the topic with her older brother, he told her never to go there, her mother said.

Germain Vigeant, the youngest of three, was studying sociology so she could help teenagers, her mother said.

"She was just the greatest person ever," said her friend, Loren Blocker. "Always laughing. There was never a dull moment."

Chao Xiong • 612-673-4391

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