Officials: S.C. school girl died of natural causes

Russ Bynum
Associated Press
In April 3, 2019,  a horse-drawn caisson arrives outside Saints Center Ministries in Walterboro, S.C., for a celebration of the life 10-year-old Raniya Wright.

Walterboro, S.C. – A South Carolina prosecutor said Friday that the investigation into the death of a fifth-grader last month was due to natural causes and not a fight with another student.

Solicitor Duffie Stone said at a press conference that 10-year-old Raniya Wright 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 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. Raniya died two days later.

“In this case, the science is clear,” Stone said.

No criminal charges will be filed in the case, he said.

The child’s family has maintained that another fifth grade girl at Forest Hills Elementary School in Walterboro 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.