Marion, Ind. (WISH) - Families and staff are trying to come to terms with the death of a student at McCulloch Junior High School.
Officials said Braylee Rice took her own life just after 10 a.m. Monday at the school.
There are still many questions about what led to the girl's death. But, her fellow students are focused on honoring her life. 24-Hour News 8 Anchor Daniel Miller was at McCulloch Junior High School where they gathered for an impromptu vigil.
It's been a traumatic day for students and staff at McCulloch Junior High School. Late Monday, many of them returned to the school to remember Rice. Some lit candles; a few held posters. They gathered at the school to pray with each other.
"We ask you to drown this community in your spirit. To comfort those who are so broken hearted," said a parent leading the vigil.
Many of the students 24-Hour News 8 talked to are in shock about what happened. School officials said Rice was spotted in her classroom Monday morning, but sometime around 9:50 a.m. they say she disappeared. Twenty seven minutes later, near the football field, students heard a rattle near the bleachers.
They looked up and saw Rice.
"She had hanged herself from the bleacher area. She was located by another group of students that was walking outside with a teacher," said Marion Deputy Police Chief Cliff Sessoms.
Administrators have not released a motive. Now they are relying on prayer and grief counselors to comfort students and staff.
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"The kids are going to have emotions and have stories that they don't know exactly what they are feeling," said Julie Cline.
Cline is a counselor who worked at the Boys & Girls Club in Marion. She knows many of the students who are grieving and plans to comfort them through their grief.
"One thing I think is very important in the beginning stages in term of today, tonight, the following days is just listen to the kids," Cline said.
Ola Donald is also grieving. She didn't know Rice, but said Rice's Mother will need all the comfort she can get.
"Next Sunday is Mother's Day and my heart goes out to her; for the loss of her child. It goes out to her," said Donald.
Grief counselors were on hand to talk to the students, staff and faculty members. They are planning to be at the school tomorrow morning. School officials said it's too early to determine what caused Rice to take her own life.
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