Natural Causes — Not Classroom Fight — Led to Death of South Carolina 5th Grader: Prosecutor

Chris Harris
Natural Causes Killed S.C. Girl Who Got into Classroom Fight

On Friday, South Carolina authorities announced that fifth-grader RaNiya Wright died from natural causes caused by a congenital condition, and not the classroom fight she’d had shortly before.

The results of RaNiya’s autopsy showed the girl had a condition known as arteriovenous malformation, which caused a blood vessel in her brain to burst.

Prosecutor Duffie Stone said at a press conference Friday the autopsy revealed that could’ve happened at any time, and was not influenced by the prior physical altercation.

“There was no evidence of trauma on or inside her body,” Stone explained, “that would indicate that any fight [of] any magnitude contributed to her death.”

Therefore, Stone, the 14th Circuit Solicitor, said that “there will be no criminal charges brought.”

RELATED: South Carolina Fifth-Grader Dies After Classroom Fight: ‘She Was a Wonderful Student’

According to officials who spoke Friday, RaNiya had been involved in a “slap fight” inside her classroom at Forest Hills Elementary in Walterboro on March 25 that lasted between five and 10 seconds.

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A teacher separated the children, and at that time, RaNiya had no visible injuries, but about 10 minutes later, while in the principal’s office, she said she had a headache.

On Friday, investigators said RaNiya had been to a doctor six times in recent months complaining of headaches.

According to a police incident report previously obtained by PEOPLE, officers were called to the school about 1 p.m. that day about a student who’d “collapsed.” The student, later identified as RaNiya, was in the nurse’s station, not breathing.

RELATED: Grieving Dad Whose 5th Grade Daughter Died in Classroom Fight Seeks Answers: ‘Looking for Justice’

She was taken by helicopter to the hospital, and two days later, on March 27, she died.

No weapons were used in the altercation, and it is still not clear what led to the fight.

Since then, both her mother, Ashley Wright, and father, Jermaine Van Dyke, have leveled harsh criticism against the school and investigators for failing to provide them with a detailed account of what happened to their daughter.

RELATED: S.C. Mom Complained About Bullying ‘Numerous Times’ Before Daughter, 10, Was Killed in Fight

Ashley Wright also said she’d complained “numerous times” about the girl her daughter had the fight with, saying the girl bullied RaNiya, but school officials failed to address the matter.

PEOPLE was unable to reach Ashley Wright or her attorney for comment.

Similarly, efforts to reach RaNiya’s father and his attorney were unsuccessful Friday.