Family, investigators split on 10-year-old’s death
CHADBOURN, NC (WWAY) — A Columbus County family is grieving tonight after the death of a 10-year-old girl. Loved ones say they found Jasmine McClain last night hanging by a belt in her room. The family says the girl’s death was an accident, but investigators believe it’s was intentional.
Jasmine as a happy, friendly child.
“She was a beautiful girl. Happy go-lucky. She loved to dance,” Jasmine’s grandmother Frances Smith said.
“She was full of life,” family friend Linda Ward said. “She’s gone, but she is still here with us. She will never leave us.”
The family says around 9:30 p.m. Monday the 10-year-old went to her room to get ready for bed. Several minutes later Jasmine’s mom Samantha West walked by her room and saw that her daughter was not in bed. She walked in to find Jasmine hanging from a belt in her room.
“Sam started screaming and calling for me, and I went back there, and I lost it,” Smith said.
The family says the girl would often swing on her belts from a beam in her room.
“She played with her belts and stuff like that,” Smith said. “She didn’t like to wear them, but she loved to play with them.”
The family thinks Jasmine slipped while playing with her belt. Nothing was underneath her for her to step on.
Chadborn Police and the State Bureau of Investigation were on scene Monday night into early Tuesday morning. The SBI says Chadbourn Police Chief Steven Shaw asked for the agency’s assistance.
The police department says at this point evidence leads them to believe the girl’s death was a suicide despite the family’s belief that Jasmine accidentally killed herself. Chadbourn Police say they area close to wrapping up the investigation.
Family members say a memorial is in the works for Jasmine. They are waiting to get her body back after an autopsy.
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