Three Newman baseball players suspended from team while police investigate woman's death

This story first appeared in the Nov. 2, 2017 issue of The Vantage.

By Delaney Hiegert, Editor-In-Chief (2015-2017)

Newman University officials have temporarily suspended three baseball players from sports activities while the Wichita Police Department investigates the death of a 20-year-old woman who was found inside her vehicle outside the players' house early Sunday morning.

The woman was found in a pickup truck parked across from a house where three Newman baseball players and one non-athlete student from Newman live. They had thrown a Halloween party the night before.

The woman, who according to a Wichita Eagle article is identified in a police report as Griffin Cruise, is not a Newman student.

The three baseball players living at the house were temporarily suspended from athletics for a violation of team rules, athletic director Vic Trilli said. He did not elaborate about the rules that were broken

Officer Charley Davidson of the Wichita Police Department said a 37-year-old man reported finding Cruise unresponsive inside of a pickup parked in the 1400 block of South Topeka around 8 a.m. Sunday. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The truck she was found in, a tan Ford Ranger, belongs to family of the woman, Davidson said.

Davidson said that police are still determining all the details of what occurred but that the woman found was “dressed appropriately for a Halloween party.”

He also said the cause of death has not been determined but that there were no obvious signs of trauma. An autopsy was scheduled for some time Monday, Davidson said.

A Newman baseball player who lives at the house where the party was thrown said he was asked not to disclose information besides the fact that the woman found was not a Newman student.

However, junior Mariah Douglass said she knew Cruise and played volleyball with her in high school for the Wichita Defenders, a KSHSAA approved competitive homeschool sports program.

“I’ve known her for a long time,” Douglass said. “I hadn’t really talked to her recently, but we were both homeschooled.”

Douglass said Cruise was not currently attending school.

Police encourage anyone with information regarding the case to call detectives at 268-4407 or Crime Stoppers at 276-2111.