Following the all-too-tragic suicide of Allison Wendel on October 13, police worked to uncover anything that may have led to her death, including whether school bullying played a factor. They interviewed dozens of students and staff at Hazard Elementary School in Santa Ana where Wendel attended 5th grade while also combing through more than 2,500 social media posts by classmates.
“Initially, detectives were informed the deceased may have been bullied at school,” reads a Santa Ana Police Department press release. “Detectives uncovered several mean spirited social media posts [among] the group but nothing that rose to the level of bullying or criminal conduct.”
The department outlined the definition of bullying as conduct that’s physical, verbal or written and that causes someone to fear for their safety, affects their studies and harms their physical or mental well-being.
Without finding any clear evidence of bullying, what caused Wendel’s death from suicide remains unknown at this time. On that tragic day, Wendel’s younger sister found her body at the family home. She didn’t leave behind any suicide note.
Relatives set up a GoFundMe page in the wake of her heartbreaking death. To date, it’s raised more than $32,000 for funeral expenses.
The Garden Grove Unified School District continues to work with Santa Ana police and Social Services to provide resources to all students and family affected by the suicide. Authorities are also asking parents to monitor their children’s access to and use of social media in the wake of such a tragedy.
Police are asking anyone with information on the case to contact detective Gerardo Corona at (714) 245-8343 or the Garden Grove Unified School District at (714) 663-6503.
Gabriel San Román is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and the tallest Mexican in OC. He also once stood falsely accused of writing articles on Turkish politics in exchange for free food from DönerG’s!