A fourteen-year-old middle school student hanged herself inside a California high school, just an hour after she reportedly ran away from home, police said.
The body of the teen — whose name was not released — was found by cops on the second-floor of Lindhurst High School in the town of Olivehurst, after she had reportedly vanished from her nearby home at about 6 a.m., officials said.
“It does appear to be a suicide,” Yuba County Sheriff Wendell Anderson told reporters. “It’s an active, ongoing investigation.”
Anderson said the police believe there were students on campus who saw the body, and officials are looking to track them down to gather statements and provide support.
He noted that the death is likely to shake the small town of 15,000 residents — which sits about 40 miles north of Sacramento — to its core.
“I know I can speak for our entire department when I say we are incredibly heartbroken from this tragedy,” he said. “This will undoubtedly impact our community and I urge anyone suffering with suicidal thoughts to seek help immediately.”
Officials did not disclose the identity of the victim, only that she was a middle school student.
Fal Asrani, superintendent of the Marysville Joint Unified School District, said in a statement, “Today is traumatic for the whole community of Lindhurst and the entire Yuba County.”
Classes were canceled on Thursday, and the high school will remain closed on Friday.
Grief counselors and psychologists will be in the building to offer services in the meantime.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside the five boroughs, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 988 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.