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Man Recovered From Hudson River Identified as Ridgewood High Grad

Andrew Gramaglia, a former star athlete at RHS and former Ramapo College student, jumped from the George Washington Bridge on May 9, the Port Authority has confirmed.

Authorities have recovered the body of a former star athlete at Ridgewood High School who jumped from the George Washington Bridge on May 9.

Andrew Gramaglia, 20, was a 2010 graduate of and a captain of the wrestling team in his junior and senior years.

A spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Thursday confirmed that Gramaglia was pulled from the river on Sunday.

Several people close to the investigation said Gramaglia's car was found on the Fort Lee side of the bridge with a suicide note inside.

The sources spoke on the condition their names not be used because they were not authorized to speak about the case.

The Ridgewood native also lettered in track and field during his time at RHS, and later joined the track and field team at Ramapo College. He had been attending Bergen Community College at the time of his death.

Gramaglia leaves behind his parents and two brothers.

Gramaglia is the second graduate of the RHS Class of 2010 to jump off the George Washington Bridge. Rutgers student Tyler Clementi committed suicide in September 2010 in a highly-publicized case that brought focus on bullying in schools.

A memorial service will be held for Gramaglia at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at in Ridgewood.

[Editor's note: This article was last updated at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 24 to reflect comment by the Port Authority.]

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Lee R May 24, 2012 at 12:28 AM
My heart goes out to all the people who loved him.
Glenn Murphy May 24, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Damn... Does "Anyone" have some sort of "Clue" as to what was going on in his "Personal Life" that would cause him to:Kill Himself? My Condolances to the Family and his friends..
BobStein May 24, 2012 at 02:47 AM
I am sorry. What a terrible loss. God Bless. I will pray for Andrew and his family.
Amanda May 24, 2012 at 10:13 AM
Oh...my...god. I cannot believe a second person has jumped off the GWB from my graduating class to their death. This is absolutely heartbreaking. Andrew always seemed so happy, had so much going for him and was so full of life , and had so many friends when I saw him around the halls of RHS. Its sad how you never know whats going through someones head or how they feel inside just from how they appear. Its also how things can change so fast. R.I.P. Tyler & Andrew its sad to see you both go so young.
Bob Stein May 24, 2012 at 11:05 AM
I recommend that the entire town put out a warning to talk to their kids. Suicides with young persons tend to spread like wildfire once they start. Since it is now all over the papers and media, it may not be a bad idea to make it a County program.
Flygrl May 24, 2012 at 11:25 AM
This makes the second person from my children's graduating classes to have done such a tragic thing. My heart goes out to his family. Can we not help our young ones more in possibly seeing any signs of despair & desperation? Maybe friends could've been more supportive? Such a tragedy for this young soul and family...
nomomoney May 24, 2012 at 12:28 PM
The word "MAN" in your headlines seems so heartless. Look at him. This was a boy. He was somebody's son. You have to be more sensitive.
Harlan Consider May 24, 2012 at 01:13 PM
I expect the national media will pick up on this story today, what with it being another young Ridgewood man from the same graduating class, committing suicide from the same spot. Maybe there's no link between him and Tyler, but it will certainly draw a lot of curiosity. Poor guy. I can't imagine what the family must be enduring. I just hope that the media approach this with a lot of tact.
Christina May 24, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Maybe Ridgewood High School should actually address what is going on instead of trying to cover everything up and preserve its image. Four people from RHS have committed suicide within the past 2 years, and yet nothing has been done. The town is so concerned with its image of wealth and prosperity that what actually goes on inside it is completely ignored. I am tired of losing my friends to suicide and having their lives completely erased from Ridgewood.
john yoth May 24, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Bob Stein, what the hell do you mean they "tend to spread like wildfires." You have no actual proof that this is a regular phenomenon and I would appreciate it if you keep you crap anecdotal evidence out of a serious article
Concerned May 25, 2012 at 12:13 AM
I wholly agree with Christina's comment. As a recent RHS alum, I feel that the village has focused on all the wrong issues teens deal with - much more needs to be done in terms of psychological support. This is only worsened by the harsh role taken on by local law enforcement. Continually adding village ordinances regarding underage drinking and unreasonably seeking to crack down on GDL infractions have done nothing but foster a sense of mistrust in our town's youths toward their administration (I do not mean to say, though, that such issues are by any means to be taken lightly). We need to bridge the gap between students and their elders, not widen it. Preventing tragedies like this should be the focus of our village, now more than ever.
lalja May 25, 2012 at 01:47 AM
I am also an RHS grad and wrestled and played football with Andrew. Frankly, blaming the village of Ridgewood or RHS for this is absolutely ridiculous. LIfe gets tough, people have personal problems, people can become mentally ill, and not know how to deal with things. If you have thoughts of suicide you essentially have two choices. You can either let them fester and let it lead to your demise, or you can seek help or advice from family members or MHP's. It is incredibly sad that Andrew took his own life but anyone who remembers him would tell you he was an introvert. Its hard when someone is like that because you cant really tell the difference between a good and bad day. What I am about to continue with should not be misconstrued as criticism on the Gramaglia family as I know that they are a great family. It starts with having a constant communicative and honest relationship with kids and not just laying down laws on your kids but why you want them to act a certain way and being understanding and letting some things go as a parent. Its also emotionally straining on a kid from a school like Ridgewood going to a place like BCC while most kids from the town go on to prestigious universities
Copey May 25, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Drink responsibly with your kids. Listen to them, laugh with them, share your mistakes with them. Open a dialog about success and what it means to them. Turn them on to Emerson and Robert Frost. Present options and show them how to honor the small voice inside. "Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." (Lao Tzu)
Angela G May 25, 2012 at 03:14 AM
@lalja That may all be true, but something's wrong in the bigger picture when four Ridgewood High School alums/students commit suicide within the span of two years, especially when all of those students were around the same age.
The Box May 25, 2012 at 04:59 AM
To "john yoth" Bob Stein could not be more correct. There is much proof of copycat suicides spreading to other youths. Your laziness and lack of spelling ability (you vs. your) is really quite startling. You should stay off the internet.
RInc May 25, 2012 at 05:41 AM
5 children in recent years since we should not forget the poor rhs girl who over dosed about 6 years ago. It's hard to tell where the problem roots from but regardless, this is too much to be coincidental and needs to be made known and actual help provided instead cracking down and shortening the already minimal leash they hold us ridgewood youth by.
barbara May 25, 2012 at 05:44 AM
There were over a dozen suicides in a high school in Manasquan, NJ, and a support group was formed by parents to address this issue. Perhaps parents and school officials can make a combined effort to not pretend this isn't happening, but address the issue head on and try to support and empower the teens that their lives are invaluable.
blake May 25, 2012 at 06:11 AM
I really think the arguing on here is silly. I know Ridgewood to be a town of love and support....and I know there is a healthy dialogue going on in a lot of households about this right now, because I'm a Ridgewood alum, and I know it's happened in my house. It would definitely be nice to have some dialogue in school or around town too, about resources kids can reach out to when they feel lonely or seriously depressed, but depression is a somewhat incomprehensible thing, and it is unique to each individual experiencing it. I think we should all stick to one sentiment, and that is sympathy for his family and the memory of a person I knew to be a good young man.
Dont Worry May 25, 2012 at 12:43 PM
I attended RHS and they always have addressed it. Its not the school, its the person. Though many would blame the school (understandable) they have done everything in their power to help, like bring in speakers, parents, and even make "spirit weeks" so make everything more fun and cheery. Its not the school, I promise you.
Steve R May 25, 2012 at 04:37 PM
John Yoth - obviously you haven't lived in town long enough to recall the suicides that hit the RHS class of '80, or you wouldn't make such insensitive, inaccurate comments! I was in RHS at the time, and I remember exactly what it was like. There is no way that you can tell me that there isn't a pattern of "copycat" behavior among teenagers when it comes to suicide. I lived through it, and I know it to be true! I think it is safe to say that amost every child in High School and Jr. High (at that time) thought about suicide, and even contemplated doing it. If the school and parents hadn't have stepped in, I'm pretty sure that more would have committed suicide, and not just in the class of '80!
Christina May 25, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Just wanted to clarify a few things--I attended RHS as well, and when I was there, nothing was addressed. At all. Now I am in no way here to argue with anyone, and I am completely willing to admit that I may not know how the town has dealt with this most recent suicide. I am also in NO WAY blaming the school or the town for the suicides (in response to "lalja" and "don't worry." I never stated that these tragedies were anyone's fault. I understand that suicide is a personal choice, however it is true that one teenage suicide tends to lead to others. Again, I do not want to argue, I just wanted to clarify that I am NOT blaming RHS or the town. I simply wanted to voice my concerns with the responses I have seen to these tragedies. I feel that more needs to be done, in order to offer more support to those considering ending their lives. I feel that it is completely devastating that four young people from RHS have committed suicide within the past two years, and honestly just wanted to voice my concerns. However, my main concern lies with the families of the victims, and I will not continue to discuss any controversial issues on here, because, as "Blake" said, we should focus on having sympathy for the family, and the memory of these wonderful people who have left us at such a young age. I'm sorry if I caused any reason for argument, that was not my intent.
Julia May 25, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Ridgewood High School employs two full-time crisis counselors who work closely with students and are valuable and helpful resources for students and parents. The crisis counselors are kept busy non-stop with kids and parents struggling with all kinds of pressures, from achievement expectations to relationship problems to financial hardships and mental illness. The District held a well-attended parent open meeting after the suicides last year, with professionals trained in dealing with youth suicides. Ridgewood teachers are trained to look for signs and to offer support, etc. In short, MUCH is done in Ridgewood and NO ONE tries to "cover up" or "ignore" it. All that being said, young people do struggle and we can lose someone despite all our best efforts. The loss is ALL our loss. We must keep offering those supports, look inward, ensure we listen to those in need and do what we can to mitigate the oppressive need for high achievement above all else.
Wendy Jorgensen May 25, 2012 at 10:59 PM
That's a nice message. When your pain is so real it is hard to imagine it will ever be better. But it will..it's not easy, to be sure..but get help..suspend your disbelief that you think you can't feel better. My heart goes out to the Gramaglia family. I will pray that they can have some rest and eventually some peace. Wendy Jorgensen.
Andy Schmidt May 26, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Let's keep things in perspective. The two indidents were in 2010 and in 2012 - so creating a "connection" is a bit of a stretch. Even more so, Tyler Clementi's action was triggered what happened to him at Rutgers - not in Ridgewood. We don't know the Andrew Gramaglia's reason - but he hasn't attended RHS in TWO years. I think our thoughts should be with the family in this difficult time instead of hi-jacking their tragedy to engage in pointless speculation about some fabricated connection.
Saddened May 26, 2012 at 11:11 PM
@Andy Schmidt I'm pretty sure you don't know why Tyler did what he did, since you are not Tyler. There is no one "trigger." It takes a lot more than that. No one is hi-jacking any tragedies, people are simply voicing their concerns in order to STOP these tragedies from happening, instead of lazily standing back and denying any connections between teen suicides like you are, so that you can feel better about yourself. Two years difference does NOT mean there wasn't a copycat effect. How about you educate yourself a little more. Also, I fully agree that our thoughts should be with the family. But when I see such an uniformed, bigoted response, I just have to respond. There is no one reason behind these tragedies, and no one has claimed there to be one. This is a place for discussion, in order to better the Ridgewood community, and denying any problems certainly does not help.
Jason D. May 27, 2012 at 11:00 AM
My heart goes out to his family and friends during this extremely rough time. Life is so short and fragile. Let's not debate here, instead go find someone you love and spend some quality time with them. RIP Andrew.
Wendy G May 27, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Ridgewood, (it appears to have changed), always kept things quiet and out of the news. I had sources, (in the 70's), that told me I would not believe how many people (adult, young adult, child), committ suicide in this town. But maybe, due to not wanting to embarrass the families, nothing was ever said. It is so sad that the dispair should become so overwhelming that life becomes unbearable. I know personally, as someone very close to me, due to his condition, has suicidal tendancies. You can't give pep talks, that "everything will be better etc." For us it takes a lot of praying together and calling upon the Angels for strength to get through another day. I pray for Andrew, his family and everyone. We have to spread the Love and not be afraid to do so. Because when it truly is the end, that is all there is. Just tell everyone you love them, before it is too late.
Abigail May 31, 2012 at 06:14 PM
i am one of andrews cousins and i would like to thank every one who says there sorry we are going through a really har time and that means a lot thanks.
CECE June 07, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Omggggggg!,,,,,, This was my cuzen ..... All I have is good memories about him!! Hope u in a better place... You will be misssed!! No family issues could erase that!! Much love rest in peace cuz ! :.(
Lisa Logan '79 June 20, 2012 at 07:47 PM
My heart breaks 4 everyone touched by Andrew's &Tyler's lives. I am from RHS's class of 79. My son is Class of 2010. A wave of suicides did happen in 1978.Teachers were amazing to us students. Re-Ridgewood Schools/Community "trying to cover up" what has happened - yes, you are right - they are keeping it quiet, but not for the sake of Ridgewood's reputation. They keep it quiet 1) out of respect for the families involved and 2) so other young, confused, unhealthy teens/young adults do not think, "Hey, they did it. So can I." WHAT I DO WISH THE RIDGEWOOD SCHOOL SYSTEM WOULD CHANGE IS... their syllabus for the health classes taught in middle school and high school. When my son was at RHS the health syllabus had 2 pages dedicated to teen pregnancy (not necessarily a big problem in Ridgewood). But nothing on mental health. All I could find was a sentence or two about suicide and related depression. Mental Health should be taught right beside physical health topics. From an early age our kids are taught about heart disease, good nutrition, importance of exercise, smoking and alcoholism... Where's the education on depression, mood swings, lack of impulse control and bipolar disorder? These are biological conditions that are all treatable. Ridgewood has many resources where you can get help. Kids should learn about depression, etc early in life. If they don't know what the symptoms are how can they ask for help?? I hope the Health Ed syllabus in Ridgewood has been updated by now.


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