LOCAL NEWS

Officials rule 11-year-old girl died of fentanyl, not fight at school

Jan 10, 2023, 10:32 AM
fentanyl...
Carrie Hankins, of Jefferson County Public Health, holds a Fentanyl test strip during an event held at Lakewood Library on August 25, 2022 in Lakewood, Colorado. Jefferson County Public Health hosted the event entitled Fentanyl & Overdose: A Discussion for Jeffco Communities. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

An 11-year-old Tacoma girl who passed away soon after a fight at school died as a result of fentanyl in her system, according to an update from the Pierce County medical examiner.

The girl was involved in an “altercation” on May 20, 2022, with another student at Ford Middle School. Shortly after, she was rushed to the Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, where she died several days later.

King County seeing increasing ‘white powder’ fentanyl

Within the next week, deputies said she had a medical emergency and later died.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office told KIRO Newsradio a family member jumped to the conclusion that she died from injuries she received in the fight, leading to community members calling on the school district to demand changes, believing she had been the victim of bullying.

After PCSO’s investigation and a review of a video of the incident, authorities said they didn’t believe the fight is what led to the girl’s death. Follow-up toxicology testing revealed a high level of fentanyl in her body, triggering detectives to open back up the case in November.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Darren Moss said they have conducted a full investigation and found no evidence of fentanyl in her home or at school.

Her official cause of death is “anoxic encephalopathy due to acute fentanyl intoxication,” and the manner of death is unknown.

“We don’t have enough information to say whether it was an accident or whether it was negligent exposure by somebody. We don’t have any suspects in that case, again, it’s not even clear that it’s a criminal investigation at this point,” Moss said.

Moss said the case has since been closed but asked anyone who may know what happened to contact them at (253) 798-7530.

Follow Sam Campbell on Twitter or email him here

Local News

fentanyl...
Briseida Holguin, KIRO 7 News

‘Officers collapsed from aerosolized fentanyl’: Concerns over K-9s not trained to detect the drug

This week state representatives discussed House Bill 1635, which calls for police K-9s to be trained to detect fentanyl.
1 day ago
Russell Wilson...
Bill Kaczaraba

Report: Practices of Russell Wilson’s foundation in question

Russell Wilson's Why Not You Foundation raises millions, but according to a USA Today investigation, less than half goes to charity.
1 day ago
car thefts...
Sam Campbell

Car thefts rampant in King, Pierce counties to kick off 2023

Car thefts continue to plague the Puget Sound area, according to new numbers released from regional authorities.
1 day ago
Strip clubs...
Bill Kaczaraba

Alcohol may soon be allowed in WA strip clubs; dancers are for it

A new bill in the Washington state Senate would allow alcohol sales in strip clubs. Dancers at a hearing on the measure seem to be all for it.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File)...
L.B. Gilbert

Thousands in north Seattle lose power due to unknown causes

A large power outage cut power to thousands of north Seattle residents on Wednesday morning around 10:30 a.m.
1 day ago
Bellevue rifle...
L.B. Gilbert

Bellevue man arrested after threatening construction workers with rifle

Pierce County deputies arrested a woman after she ran from deputies and tried to steal a 70-year-old man’s car in Parkland.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Officials rule 11-year-old girl died of fentanyl, not fight at school