10-year-old girl commits suicide, police investigate rumors of bullying

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SANTA ANA, Calif. - Area police are investigating the death of a 10-year-old girl in Santa Ana who died by suicide.

Santa Ana detectives were at Hazard Elementary School on Monday investigating reports that the fifth grader may have been bullied.

Officers said they would be interviewing those who knew her, as well as looking at social media and text messages to try to determine if bullying was a factor in her death.

According to officials, the girl died at home on Sunday. Police said her 9-year-old sister was the one who found her.

One neighbor said the girl seemed happy and would often play games with her younger siblings.

“She was always like funny…she was always really nice to everybody,” Jacob Ortiz, a classmate, said. “She would give a lot of people hugs a lot.”

A rosary was planned at the girl’s home Monday evening.

Garden Grove Unified School District said in a statement:

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of one of our students. We have our crisis counselors on site today and throughout the week to ensure students and staff have support during this difficult time. While the Santa Ana Police Department is conducting a thorough investigation, we have no evidence to support this rumor. Hazard Elementary School has a longstanding PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) program and takes a proactive approach to promote a positive school culture.”

According to the neighbor, the girl’s parents monitored her social media accounts.

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For more information about mental health care resources and support, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email info@nami.org.

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