http://www.aolnews.com/nation/articl...-says/19428962(April 6) -- The death of a 6-year-old Oregon girl sent to her room after exchanging cross words with her mother has been classified as a suicide by a state medical examiner.
After her mother told her to go to her room, Samantha Kuberski, a first-grader in McMinnville, Ore., crawled into an unused crib, tied one end of a belt around her neck, the other on a bar of the crib, and hanged herself, according to reports.
The incident happened on Dec. 2, days shy of the girl's 7th birthday, making her the youngest person in Oregon history to have committed suicide.
But McMinnville police investigating Samantha's death are not convinced that the girl understood the consequences of her actions. They are challenging the classification of suicide. Samantha's death, they argue, was the result of an accident.
"The disagreement is a little more philosophical than it is material to the case," McMinnville police Capt. Dennis Marks told KGW News in Portland. "It's not that we disagree with the mechanics of what happened. It's the finding that a 6-year-old could form that kind of intent."
Dr. Clifford Nelson, Oregon's deputy medical examiner, made the suicide determination based on a variety of factors, including interviews with the grief-stricken family. And Dr. Karen Gunson, the chief medical examiner for the state, said that investigators learned that the girl's parents had warned all of their children of the dangers of playing with belts around their necks.
"Statements were made by the girl that indicated she was going to kill herself," Gunson told KGW News. "She had the means and she realized that if she put something around her neck that was dangerous and could cause death -- because her parents had told her that. My contention is that shows intent."
Samantha threatened to kill herself as she was sent to her room, according to her family.
Citing a respect for privacy for the family, Brad Berry, the district attorney in Yamhill County, has refused to release police records of Samantha's death to the press. He said that no criminal charges have been filed.
"If I can't have my granimals then there's nothing in this life to live for!"