U.S.

Michigan Community Raises Almost $10,000 in a Day for Funeral of Ahmed Altaii, 19, Who Fell From Hotel Balcony in Mexico

The community of Dearborn, Michigan, has raised nearly $10,000 in less than 24 hours to cover the funeral expenses of a 19-year-old who died after falling from his hotel balcony in Mexico.

Ahmed Altaii, from Dearborn, was on spring break vacation in Cancun, Mexico, when he fell from the seventh floor of the GR Solaris Hotel around 10 p.m. on Saturday. The 19-year-old’s girlfriend reportedly told Mexican authorities that Altaii had started drinking early in the day, the Yucatan Times reported.

Mexican authorities contacted Altaii’s family and are set to conduct an autopsy and toxicology report to determine cause of death.

A Dearborn Area Community Members Facebook page posted a video and several tributes to Altaii. It also shared a GoFundMe page that has raised over $9,000 of its $10,000 goal to help pay for Altaii’s funeral in under 24 hours.

Altaii’s friends, who launched the GoFundMe page, held a remembrance vigil for their friend on Sunday at Ford Field Park in Dearborn. About 50 people attended the vigil, including Altaii’s girlfriend, Heidi Newman, the Detroit Free Press reported.

“It’s very, very heartbreaking. I really wish he was here today. He would have made us all have smiles on our faces,” Altaii’s friend Aymen Mustafa told Fox 2 Detroit. “A lot of people are shocked that he’s gone, wish he could be with us here today.”

His friends said they were close with Altaii and that they shared many memories together. “He was a good kid and made us all happy,” Mustafa said.

“I miss him so much,” Newman told the Detroit Free Press during the vigil. “We were so happy. He was the love of my life. I wish he was here right now, we all do.”

The 19-year-old, who graduated from Fordson High School in 2017, was attending Henry Ford Community College. Grief counselors will be available at the high school in Dearborn on Monday, WDIV reported.

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