Detectives Investigating Undetermined Death of 11-Year-Old Seek Additional Witnesses

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long beach police dialogue with communityOn Friday, February 24, 2012, at approximately 5:50 p.m., Long Beach police officers responded to a local hospital after being notified that an 11-year-old female, who was unconscious and not breathing, but showed no visual signs of trauma to her body, had been brought into the emergency room (ER) by her family. She was treated by ER staff, and taken in for emergency surgery. She was placed in ICU in critical condition, and at approximately 8:50 p.m., in spite of the hospital staff’s valiant efforts, was pronounced deceased.

As Long Beach Police began investigating, it was learned that the decedent, and a 10-year-old female student at Willard Elementary, had been involved in a physical altercation with a female classmate. It was determined that afterschool, the two girls, and approximately seven onlookers, walked to a nearby alley to engage in a pre-planned fight. Police believe the fight lasted less than one minute, did not involve any weapons, and that no one was knocked to the ground. Once the fight was over, both girls left the location and went their separate ways.

Detectives have identified the involved classmate and interviewed her, along with the multiple onlookers. Detectives are also attempting to identify anyone who had knowledge of the events leading up to the fight, or any additional witnesses to the fight. What the girls may have been fighting over is still under investigation.

As of now, this has been ruled as an undetermined death, and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office will determine the official cause of death.

The L.B.P.D. will continue to conduct interviews and gather facts, and will present our findings to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, along with the Coroner’s findings. The District Attorney’s Office will review the case and ultimately determine if any charges will be filed.

At this point, no arrests have been made in this case. Detectives have spoken with family members and friends of both girls, and no one has alleged or provided any information that the decedent was being bullied. None of the students interviewed thus far have informed detectives that school officials were made aware of the impending fight.

The Long Beach Police Department’s Homicide Detail will continue investigating the incident to determine if a crime occurred. Anyone who may have information regarding this investigation, who hasn’t already spoken with detectives, should contact the Homicide Detail at (562) 570-7244.

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