WALTERBORO, SC (FOX Carolina) – The solicitor said during a news conference Friday no charges will be filed in death of Raniya Wright.
Solicitor Duffie Stone said medical experts concluded the fight Raniya was involved in at her school did not contribute to her death.
According to Stone, the cause of death was found to be arteriovenous malformation, known as AVM, which is a tangle of blood vessels connecting arteries and veins to the brain.
Solicitor Stone said Wright's body did not have any signs of trauma from a fight: No bruises, cuts, scrapes, busted lips, or any internal evidence of body damage from a fight.
"In this case the science is very clear. The science shows her death was natural," Stone said.
Stone said that Raniya had suffered from headaches and dizziness, symptoms of AVM, dating back to February of 2017, and had been to the doctor a total of 7 times previously. Stone went on to say that as recently as 13 days before the event of her death, she had gone to the doctor complaining of these symptoms
Sheriff Andy Strickland of Colleton County said this was not a case of bullying, and the death didn't occur as the result of any type of beating. Sheriff Strickland said the fight, which preceded Raniya's death, only lasted 5-10 seconds, and was described by student witnesses as a "slap fight".
Major Casey Chapman, an investigator with the Colleton County Sheriff's Office, was very clear that the investigation into Raniya's death was focused only on this event, and not any prior bullying incidents.
Chapman said leading up to the fight that day, there was no record at the school or with student witnesses that bullying took place prior to the incident. He went on to say the fight was immediately broken up by the teacher, and that the students were taken one at a time to the principal's office.
Chapman said it was after arriving at the principal's office that Raniya complained of a headache, where investigators say she was then taken to the nurse's office. Investigators say while on the way to the nurse's office, Raniya collapsed on her knees and got sick, vomiting while complaining of dizziness.
Chapman said within 12 minutes of first complaining of a headache, 911 was called and dispatched to the school.
Wright died on March 27, two days after the fight at Forest Hills Elementary School, where she studied as a fifth grader.
Officials say the other person involved in that fight was suspended.
Attorney Margie Pizarro, speaking on behalf of Raniya's mother, thanked the solicitor's office, the sheriff, and the sheriff's department. She made a special point of thanking Major Chapman who she said did a great job with the investigation and holding the hand of the family in that difficult time. Pizarro went on to say, while they respect the initial findings of the investigation, this is only the beginning.
Pizarro says the student involved in the altercation with Raniya had an ongoing conflict with her for over the past two years. She said a student witness claims that Raniya and the other student had previously had two altercations before 11 a.m. the day of the fight and the witness claims they saw the other student shove Raniya into a bookshelf, forcing Raniya to bang her head.
Pizarro said while they respect the investigation conducted by the solicitor's office and sheriff's department, they will continue to check the results of the investigation and independently verify all the facts.