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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Today in Upsetting Questions

Posted by David Schmader on Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Did a six-year-old Oregon girl commit suicide?

Medical examiners say yes, police investigators say no, and the Associated Press provides details:

The girl, days short of her 7th birthday when she died in December, is thought to be the youngest person ever to commit suicide in Oregon, according to the state Department of Human Services. Police detectives, however, said they believe the death was an accident.

Detectives learned Samantha was well-liked, well-adjusted and did well at school. She had not been abused, had not suffered a recent trauma and had expressed no thoughts of suicide until about an hour before the incident, when she threatened to kill herself after being chastised by her mother and sent to her room. While her mother and three siblings were in another part of the house, the authorities said, Samantha got inside an unused crib that had no mattress or box spring. She placed a child's belt around her neck and tied it to the upper railing of the crib, hanging herself. The first-grader died at a hospital after the family and paramedics tried to save her. Dr. Clifford Nelson, the deputy state medical examiner, ruled the death a suicide, a conclusion police did not support."The disagreement is a little more philosophical than it is material to the case," McMinnville police Capt. Dennis Marks said prior to the public records request. "It's not that we disagree with the mechanics of what happened. It's the finding that a 6-year-old could form that kind of intent."

Full upsetting story here.

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