WALTERBORO, S.C. - The full report on the cause of death for a 10-year-old South Carolina girl is expected to be released Monday.
A South Carolina prosecutor said the investigation into the death of the 5th grader Raniya Wright last month was due to natural causes and not a fight with another student.
Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone, Colleton County Sheriff R.A. Strickland and Richard Harvey, the county coroner, announced the conclusion of their initial findings in the investigation into the death of Wright, who attended Forest Hills Elementary.
Stone said at a press conference that Raniya died of a congenital condition called an arteriovenous malformation, a tangle of abnormal blood vessels in the brain. The child had repeatedly complained of headaches in the days and weeks before her death.
Stone added records show Wright had gone to the hospital for headaches seven times over the last two years, include 13 days before the fight.
Stone said that pathology and other scientific reports showed no evidence of trauma to the body that would have indicated the child died of injuries sustained in a fight on March 25.
"In this case, the science is clear," Stone said. "No busted lip, no black eyes, the only trauma was limited to the scope of rupture that took place in the brain."
No criminal charges will be filed in the case, he said.
Raniya’s autopsy was completed earlier this month, but the results were only released Friday.
There were questions swirling around the fifth grader’s death, as well as the fight between her and another student at Forest Hills Elementary School in Walterboro.
The child's family had maintained that another fifth-grader at the school had hit or pushed the girl.
An attorney for Raniya's mother, Ashley Wright, said other students in Raniya's class told her family that the other fifth grader involved in the fight had been bothering Raniya all day.
The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office described the fight as a "five to 10 second slap fight" last month at Forest Hills Elementary School.
"The teacher was in control at her desk," Major Jason Chapman said. "She immediately responded to separate the two children."
Chapman said neither of the children were visibly hurt, no weapons were involved, and they didn't have a history of problems. He also said bullying did not play a part in the incident.
Officials broke the students up and Raniya was taken to the school nurse.
When paramedics arrived, she was unconscious and was taken to the hospital. She was eventually flown to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She died March 27.
Ashley Wright, Raniya’s mother, had said that students told her the girl hit her head on a bookshelf before she died, according to an interview Ashley Wright did on “Good Morning America."
The family's attorney Margie Pizarro described a more violent version of events and ongoing bullying and continued to blame the school for failing to intervene.
"Each punch to Raniya's head made a loud sound," Pizarro said. "If this doesn't break your heart, I don't know what will."
Raniya's family said they did not know about her condition and want to question doctors directly.
The Colleton County School District said it will release a full report on what happened when the investigation is complete.
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