A death investigation is underway by the Chicago Police Department in the death of a 12-year-old South Side girl. She was found by her father inside their home on Wednesday evening, police said.
A death investigation is underway by the Chicago Police Department in the death of a 12-year-old South Side girl. She was found by her father inside their home on Wednesday evening, police said. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office ruled the death a suicide by hanging. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is not conducting an investigation at this time, said Kendall Marlow, the agency’s spokesperson. This is the third apparent suicide of a child in that age range this month, Marlow said. A 10-year-old boy was found Feb. 3 in an Evanston school. The medical examiner ruled his death a suicide by hanging. On Feb. 4 in Chatham, Ill., an 11-year-old boy was found dead. The Sangamon County Coroner’s office listed the cause of death as “asphyxia, due to hanging.” “This may answer the question as to is it psychologically and physically possible for someone that young to kill himself,” Marlowe said, adding, “This is why it’s important that we listen to our children and respond to their needs.” The Chicago Public Schools said it is providing counseling support to the family and the girl’s peers. “We are saddened by the unexpected accident. Our number one priority is to ensure that family members, students and faculty have the support necessary to cope with the tragedy. The crisis intervention team has been activated and has been responding to the needs of the school and family,” said CPS spokesperson Monique Bond. Suicide in the victims age range is not common, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2005, the most recent data available, about 12 children –– nationwide –– between the ages of 9 and 11 committed suicide, CDC statistics show. ______ Copyright 2009 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.