Palestine officials believe eight-year-old committed suicide

story courtesy of the Tyler Morning Telegraph
Staff Writer

PALESTINE — The autopsy of an 8-year-old Palestine girl indicates the child took her life, officials said.

Anderson County Sheriff Gregg Taylor said his office received the official autopsy report in the death of Tori Blair Wilson from the Southeast Texas Forensic Center in Tyler and the report confirms his agency's findings.

"At first when we began working this case we were baffled, but we ruled out any possible foul play early on and the autopsy findings indicate the manner of death as asphyxia by hanging," he said.

Taylor's office was called to a location in the 1100 block of County Road 4259 on April 17 when family members found the young girl in a wooded area behind her home.

Taylor said the family and neighbors had been having a barbecue and the children had been playing.

"All of the kids came inside and (Tori) went back into the woods saying she forgot something. When she didn't show up her family went looking for her and found her hanging," he said.

Taylor said during the investigation his office learned the child may have been the target of peer bullying, but could never find any concrete evidence pointing to any group of children.

"It appears she was a good student with no problems at school, but we did receive information she may have been bullied at some point," he said.

Taylor said as disturbing as the suicide of an 8-year-old is, he found through research a trend is developing among young children taking their own lives.

"It's a tragedy, but we have found children a lot younger than our victim who have taken their own lives. We encourage parents to talk with their children and look for any signs something is wrong," he said.

Tyler Paper is following this story and will have additional details as they become available.


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