The ten-year-old Irish American girl who was driven to suicide after years of taunting by local children in Ridge Farm, Illinois, showed no signs of self-harm before her death, according to her mother, Stacy.
Her distraught mother told MSNBC’s Today Show: “Her last words to me were - 'Mommy, I love you' and she hugged me. I told her I loved her, too.”
Last Friday, Ashlynn committed suicide by hanging herself in her closet with a knit scarf. Her body was found by her 14-year-old sister.
The fifth-grader had asked her mother, on Thursday, if she could be home-schooled as the bullying was getting to her. Her mother said she was being called “fat," “ugly” and “a slut."
Her mother said: “She was 10-years-old; she’s too young to know this stuff.”
Stacy told her daughter they would speak to the principal about the problem this week.
On Friday, she heard her daughter talk to a friend on the phone about the bullying. Approximately 30 minutes later, she was dead.
Stacy said: “She never talked about killing herself or hurting herself."
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On the evening in question, her aunt, Kim Wright, said she seemed to be in better spirits and in a “Thanksgiving mood."
Wright said: “She wanted to live. She was talking (the day of her suicide) about how she was in a Thanksgiving mood and she asked her mom how much snow we would get this winter ... she thought it would be a lot.”
Ashlynn had been bullied for several years. In the past, school officials had dealt with her complaints about other students. However, shortly before she killed herself, she had raised the issue again with several teachers. Stacy said: “they told her to sit down and stop tattling."
Vermilion County Coroner Peggy Johnson said the 10-year-old died of strangulation but could not determine whether the death was a suicide until the sheriff's investigation is completed and her office has completed further tests.
At least 900 people turned out for the 10-year-old’s funeral on Wednesday. Among them was Ashlynn’s classmate, Kristina Fehr, who told NBC News the lesson isn’t lost on her.
“It’s a lesson to other kids that death is forever, and you can’t just die and come back.”
Here’s the “Today Shows” report:
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