Beloved Melvindale teen dies after testing positive for COVID

Family, friends remember Austin Tanner at Wednesday vigil

An 18-year-old boy from Melvindale died after contracting COVID-19.

MELVINDALE, Mich. – A popular young man was remembered by family and friends Wednesday night -- one day after passing away.

The family of 18-year-old Austin Tanner says the teen contracted COVID-19 and was recovering at home when things took a turn for the worse Tuesday.

A vigil for Tanner was originally planned to take place a Melvindale High School Wednesday night -- but, because Tanner’s family couldn’t leave their home over coronavirus concerns, the community instead moved the vigil to their front steps.

Family and friends gathered outside of Tanner’s home to remember the well-loved teen. Tanner was a standout kid among his peers who loved everything and everyone -- and everyone seemed to love him.

That’s why it was concerning when the boy got sick a couple of weeks ago, and even more concerning when his COVID-19 test came back positive last Friday.

The homecoming king was remembered for his faith, his friendliness, his laugh and the effect he had on those around him.

See more from the emotional vigil in the video player above.

  • Donate: If you’d like to donate meals or make monetary donations to the family, go here.

More News

About the Author:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.