Detectives find no evidence bullying led to suicide of 10-year-old girl

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Santa Ana detectives who investigated what led to a 10-year-old girl taking her own life say they did not find any evidence that bullying played a significant role in her suicide.

Allison Ruth Wendel, a 10-year-old student who attended Hazard Elementary School, was found dead by her younger sister on Oct. 13 after apparently taking her own life. There were concerns that she may have been subjected to bullying.

Both the school district and police looked into those concerns.

Detectives say they interviewed more than 50 students at Hazard Elementary School, in addition to more than 30 staff members, family and friends. They also reviewed some 2,500 videos and posts on social media from classmates of the girl.

"Detectives uncovered several mean spirited social media posts amongst the group, but nothing that rose to the level of bullying or criminal conduct," the department said.

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A 10-year-old girl was found dead in Santa Ana after apparently taking her own life, prompting a police investigation of possible bullying, authorities said.

In fact, they say they weren't able to uncover Allison's likely motive for taking her own life.

"To date, the Santa Ana Police Department has been unable to determine the ultimate intentions of this young girl or identify a triggering event that led to this tragic suicide/accident."

The Garden Grove Unified School District has previously said it did not uncover any indications of substantial bullying.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of one of our students," the district said shortly after Allison's death. While police are "conducting a thorough investigation, we have no evidence to support" rumors of bullying, the statement added.

Crisis counselors and a police comfort dog were sent to Hazard to help students and staff members.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help Allison's family with funeral expenses.

"On October 13 we lost a great little angel," the GoFundMe page states. "We would now like to ask for your support to raise funds for the funeral expenses for Allison Ruth Wendel. The Wendel Hernandez Family will appreciate your help."

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