SANTA ANA, Calif. - The family of a 10-year-old Santa Ana elementary school student is speaking out after she was found dead by suicide over the weekend. Police are now investigating rumors that she may have been bullied.
That young girl was a 5th grader at Hazard Elementary School. It was her little sister who found her unresponsive. Her family didn't want to comment on reports that she may have been bullied but said they were completely blindsided by this and there were no warning signs.
10-year-old Allison Wendel had a remarkable amount of people in her life who loved her. Many of them coming to a vigil in her memory Tuesday night where there were warm embraces of support and tears of grief. Allison's aunt, Alicia Miranda, flew down from Sacramento to support her brother, Allison's dad.
Corporal Anthony Bertagna with the Santa Ana Police Department says detectives are investigating unconfirmed rumors Allison was bullied.
"They're collecting electronic devices, scouring social media, talking to her friends to see if there was something in her life that led her down this path," said Bertagna.
Miranda, understandably, wasn't ready to address those bullying rumors.
"I don't know if I'm comfortable commenting on that at this time in the investigation. I just want to make sure I don't overstep my bounds with my family and that I respect their privacy," Miranda said.
Like many others at Allison's vigil, she's choosing to mourn and remember her niece who she described as the happiest little girl she ever met.
Garden Grove Unified School District released the following statement:
"We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of one of our students. Crisis counselors continue to support the school to ensure students and staff have emotional support during this very difficult time. Santa Ana police have informed us that they are assessing any and all factors that may have contributed to this tragedy. While the media has reported rumors of bullying, SAPD has not yet concluded its investigation to determine what might have contributed to this action."
The family plans to have Allison's funeral services on October 24. A GoFundMe account has been set up at https://www.gofundme.com/f/to-our-angel-allison.