Medical examiner’s report says 5th-grader RaNiya Wright died of “natural causes”

Updated: May. 2, 2019 at 2:33 PM EDT
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COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Investigators with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office released the medical examiner’s report Thursday for the death of Forrest Hills Elementary School student RaNiya Wright, saying the 5th-grader died of natural causes.

“It is the opinion of the pathologist that the decedent died as a result of acute intracranial hemorrhage due to a ruptured cerebellar arterio-venous vascular malformatoin,” the report said. “Furthermore, the manner of death is best deemed natural.”

This all comes after the sheriff’s office, solicitor and coroner’s office held a press conference weeks ago announcing there would be no criminal charges filed in the March death of 10-year-old RaNiya Wright. Solicitor Duffie Stone told reporters Wright died from natural causes, the result of a rupture of blood vessels in a rare condition known as arteriovenous malformation, or AVM, in her brain.

Wright died a couple days after she was involved in a fight in a school classroom at Forrest Hills, but the autopsy report released Thursday confirms there is no evidence to suggest any traumatic injuries that lead to her death.

The accounts from an incident report from the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office which was released in April included statements from students at Forest Hills Elementary School who reported that a student had Wright in a headlock and had struck her in the head with her fist after Wright had struck the student in the back.

During a news conference in April, Stone said the child repeatedly complained of headaches in the days and weeks before her death.

Stone classified the condition as a “birth defect” and said there was no sign of trauma on Wright’s body. He said there were no signs of bruises, cuts, scrapes busted lips or black eyes.

CLICK HERE for a timeline of the death investigation.

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