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Allston girl, 10, dies in apparent suicide

Mother found her hanged

By John M. Guilfoil
Globe Staff / October 6, 2010
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Update: At the conclusion of the investigation, Boston police reported that there was no evidence suggesting the girl deliberately took her own life. The investigation concluded that the girl’s death most likely was an accident.

A 10-year-old girl was found hanged in her Allston apartment last night, in what police said appeared to be a suicide.

Boston police responded to 48 Glenville Ave., where they found the girl around 8 p.m. yesterday, said Officer Eddy Chrispin, a police spokesman.

Her mother had called 911 and was connected to State Police, Chrispin said.

The police report indicates the mother screamed to the dispatcher that she had just found her daughter hanging from a scarf in a closet and that she was not breathing.

The girl, whose name was not released, was taken to Children’s Hospital Boston, where she was pronounced dead.

“The preliminary investigation suggests that it appears to be a suicide,’’ said Elaine Driscoll, spokeswoman for Boston police. “The homicide unit will maintain the investigation until the autopsy results are complete.’’

Police released no additional details.

Several police vehicles were in front of the victim’s four-story apartment building last night, and investigators combed through a first-floor unit. A police captain at the scene declined to comment, saying only that “something tragic just happened here.’’

If the investigation confirms the girl took her own life, she would be the latest and the youngest in a series of child suicides in Massachusetts.

In April 2009, Springfield sixth-grader Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, 11, hanged himself at home. On Jan. 14 in South Hadley, 15-year-old Phoebe Prince, an Irish immigrant, hanged herself in her closet.

Both children were bullied at school in the months leading up to their deaths.

The cases put school bullying into the national spotlight as school administrators were blamed for ignoring signs of trouble.

A 6-year-old Oregon girl hanged herself in December, according to the Associated Press. Samantha Kuberski, who killed herself after being chastised by her mother and sent to her room, is believed to be the youngest suicide victim in that state’s history and one of the youngest in the United States.

Globe correspondent Stewart Bishop contributed to this report. John M. Guilfoil can be reached at jguilfoil@globe.com.

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