1. Headline
  1. Headline
msnbc.com
updated 11/15/2011 4:45:22 PM ET 2011-11-15T21:45:22

The mother of a 10-year-old Illinois girl who committed suicide by hanging herself said her daughter had been "teased and taunted" by kids at school and in the neighborhood.

  1. Stories from
    1. Shia LaBeouf Says He Was Raped During His #IAMSORRY Art Project in February
    2. Princess Kate Spotted Shopping for Antiques
    3. FROM SI: Ray Rice Reinstated After Successful Appeal: Reports
    4. Mickey Rourke Defeats Opponent Half His Age in First Fight in 20 Years
    5. Jennifer Lawrence, Pop Star? Her Hunger Games Song Is a Top 40 Hit

Stacy Conner told The News-Gazette in Champaign-Urbana on Monday that when she picked up her daughter Ashlynn from school on Thursday, Ashlynn was upset about three girls picking on her and asked if she could be home-schooled.

Conner told her daughter they would talk to the principal on Monday. Ashlynn, a fifth-grader, seemed in better spirits on Friday, when school was closed for Veterans Day.

Ashlynn's grandmother, Lory Hackney, told the newspaper the family was home Friday night, when they noticed Ashlynn had not been seen for a while. When her older granddaughter, Michaila Baldwin, 14, went looking for Ashlynn, she found her body in her bedroom closet.

"I don't know what was so bad she couldn't wait," Hackney told the News-Gazette. She said she was unable to revive her granddaughter with CPR. The girl was pronounced dead at at a nearby medical center.

Read the original story on The News-Gazette

The death has prompted an outpouring of grief and shock in the east central Illinois community of Ridge Farm. Vermilion County Sheriff Patrick Hartshorn said his office is investigating the possibility that bullying was a factor in the suicide.

On Monday, sheriff’s investigators reportedly were interviewing students named by Conner's family as possible bullies, but Hartshorn his officers "don't have any firm evidence."

Hackney said her granddaughter had complained of mostly verbal and emotional abuse, with students calling her fat, ugly and a slut.

"All she wanted to do was make people happy and please them," Conner told the newspaper, adding that she believes "it all just got to" Ashlynn.

Story: Teachers caught on tape bullying special-needs girl

On Monday night, the Ridge Farm community held at candlelight vigil in honor of Ashlynn, which drew more than 200 people, the News-Gazette reported.

Hackney said she wants to raise awareness about bullying, "so there won't be other Ashlynns."

"I want to see a law that will hold parents accountable and to a degree, the kids, depending on their age," she told the News-Gazette. "This cannot continue to happen."

© 2013 msnbc.com Reprints

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. TODAY

    Black Friday survival guide: 7 apps to help you shop

    11/28/2014 12:05:43 PM +00:00 2014-11-28T12:05:43
  1. Blogging Over Thyme , A Spicy Pe

    8 great recipes for leftover Thanksgiving sides and desserts

    11/26/2014 5:11:02 PM +00:00 2014-11-26T17:11:02
  1. Star Wars / YouTube

    ‘There has been an awakening’: See the new ‘Star Wars’ trailer

    11/28/2014 4:46:51 PM +00:00 2014-11-28T16:46:51
  1. Andrew Kelly / Reuters

    video Black Friday shoppers flock into stores

    11/28/2014 12:17:55 PM +00:00 2014-11-28T12:17:55
  1. Courtesy of Courtney Rowland/Nei

    6 awesome turkey sandwiches to make with your Thanksgiving leftovers

    11/26/2014 1:57:02 PM +00:00 2014-11-26T13:57:02
  1. TODAY

    Watch this flight attendant rock Lorde’s ‘Royals'

    11/28/2014 4:05:10 PM +00:00 2014-11-28T16:05:10