Girl Had Staggering Alcohol Level at Death

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By Kate Burgess

Bellingham, WA (KCPQ) — A 14-year-old Bellingham girl who died in her sleep Sept. 29 was found to have a blood-alcohol level higher than .40, the Bellingham Herald reported Wednesday.

Whatcom County Medical Examiner Gary Goldfogel said the girl’s official cause of death was alcohol poisoning.

The medical examiner also found marijuana in her system, the Herald reported.

The girl, a Whatcom Middle School student, arrived home from a party about 2 a.m. Sept. 29 in the 2200 block of Dean Avenue and went to bed. According to Bellingham Police Department Lt. Rick Sucee, the girl’s mother checked on her in her bed at 6 a.m. and found her unresponsive.

Medics called to the scene failed to revive the girl.

The Bellingham School District was advised of the situation after the girl’s death, officials said, so arrangements could be made to help students and staff at Whatcom Middle School handle the news.

“It`s really important that parents are involved in their children`s lives. If you suspect something, then talk to your children, because if you ignore it, there`s no telling what will happen,” Sucee said.

Bellingham police detectives are still investigating the case, and encourage anyone with information on who provided the girl alcohol or tips on the party she attended to call detective Tawsha Dykstra at (360) 778-8664.