Investigation Into Whether 10-Year-Old Boston Girl Killed Herself

School investigating whether bullying played a role in child's actions.

ByABC News
October 6, 2010, 3:03 PM

Oct. 7, 2010 — -- The Boston school attended by a 10-year-old girl who apparently committed suicide is investigating whether bullying played a role in the child's death.

"Because of the initial report [of the apparent suicide], we, of course, jumped right in and started to talk to the principal about the student's history and relationships with other students in the school," Boston Public Schools spokesman Lee McGuire said.

Little will be known about the circumstances of the fourth-grader's death until an official autopsy report is conducted, McGuire said.

It's unclear when the report will be available. A message left for the Boston Medical Examiner's Office was not immediately returned.

Mental health counselors were sent to the school, which has not been identified, and teachers spoke to students about the death, McGuire said.

The girl, who has not been named, was found by her mother in their Allston apartment Tuesday evening hanging by a scarf, according to police.

"It appears she was hanging, it appears it was suicide," Boston police spokeswoman Jill Flynn said.

Flynn declined to comment on what may have motivated the girl.

"It's a 10-year-old, so it's very sensitive," she said. "Investigators are just waiting on an autopsy."

John Tarver, a neighbor of the victim, said police were still monitoring the first-floor apartment where the girl is believed to have killed herself.

Tarver said the victim "was a nice kid" who had frequently played with his daughter.

"When she comes over or when my daughter wants to go down there to play, I've never had an indication about anything [bad going on]," Tarver said.

"I don't know if [the victim] had seen it somewhere and was just trying something and it was an accident."

Her death comes on the heels of several high-profile suicides by people who were victims of school bullying.

In April 2009, an 11-year-old Springfield, Mass., boy committed suicide after being bullied by classmates who called him gay.

And a Rutgers University freshman leaped to his death last month after he was allegedly secretly taped during a gay sexual encounter by his roommate and another student.