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Investigation into death of girl in SC classroom 'could take weeks'

Raniya Wright, 10, died at the hospital two days after she was involved in a fight at a South Carolina school.

WALTERBORO, S.C. — Investigators in South Carolina say it could take weeks to determine what led to the death of a fifth grader inside a Colleton County classroom this week. 

Colleton Sheriff Andy Strickland and 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone held a briefing late Friday afternoon, but weren't able to offer much up in new details in the death of 10-year-old Raniya Wright. 

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Stone said an autopsy took place earlier in the day on the little girl, but there were no conclusions, and final results may not be in for weeks. He also said it's premature to determine if criminal charges will even be needed in the case. 

Right now, there's no timetable for the completion of their probe.

"We will take as much time as necessary to ensure a thorough investigation," Strickland said. 

The sheriff urged people with information in the case to call his office at 843-549-2211.

The fight broke out Monday in a classroom at Forest Hills Elementary School in Walterboro. The Colleton County School District said teachers ended the fight as quickly as possible, and called for EMS. An incident report states both of the students involved were fifth-graders.

Credit: Ashley Wright
Raniya Wright

The report says Wright made it to the nurse's station. When deputies arrived, the girl was unconscious but breathing.  She was  taken to a local hospital for treatment, then airlifted to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Around mid-morning Wednesday, she passed away. 

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One student has been suspended in connection with the incident.

Hours after Wright's death, the Colleton County School District issued a statement that said in part, "Raniya was a wonderful student. She loved to write, spend time with her friends, play basketball and loved being a big sister. She was actively involved in her church as a junior usher. She will be missed greatly by her family, friends, and the entire school community." 

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The school district held a nearly three-hour long closed door meeting Thursday to discuss Raniya's death. Afterward, they issued two brief statements, then left the meeting.

That upset some parents in the district, who's waited while the board met to try and get answers to their questions about the case. 

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