• St. Johns deputies: Teen girl dies after collapsing in Murray Middle School gym


    ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - MORE: Mother of teen who died at St. Johns County after school activity speaks out

    UPDATE, 12/6/17, 3:21 p.m.: Preliminary findings from the Medical Examiner's Office show 13-year-old Paris Byrd's death was due to natural causes due to a congenital disease.

    The Medical Examiner ruled her manner of death as "natural" due to congenital disease and the cause of death as hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart.

    Update, 12/6/17 11:45 a.m.: The mother of 13-year-old Paris Byrd, the Murray Middle School student who passed away Tuesday invited Action News Jax to speak with her Wednesday morning. 

    Ericka Lowe said she's looking for answers about what happened to her daughter. 

    "She wanted to try out for basketball and I gave her the okay - I said, "Okay"...I don't know, God called her home I guess," said Lowe. 

    Paris's family says they are taking time to remember her as she was days away from turning 14. 

    Update, 12/6/17 11 a.m.:  A family member has confirmed Paris Byrd is the Murray Middle School student who passed away after collapsing after a school sporting event.

    Original Story:

    The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office is investigating after a teenage girl collapsed during an after school sporting event and later died.

    Deputies and St. Johns County Fire Rescue responded just after 3 p.m. Tuesday to the R.J. Murray Middle School gym.

    SJSO said the student went into medical distress and was taken to Flagler Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

    Principal Tom Schwarm sent out the following message to parents and students:

    Good Evening Bulldog Families, 

    This is Principal Tom Schwarm and it is with extreme sadness and a heavy heart that I relay the news that one of our very own students has passed away this evening. It is out of respect for the family that I do not relay her name at this time.

    Many students, teachers, school staff and parents will be reeling from this news. We will have our crisis team which includes grief counselors, district staff, school counselors and social workers on site tomorrow, and for as long as needed, to support the entire school community. 

    We will also have materials posted on our website to assist you in speaking to your children about this tragedy.

    I ask that you keep all of our Bulldogs in your prayers and for the parents at this time.

    Tom Schwarm

    St. Johns County School District spokesperson Christina Langston said a crisis team will be at the school on Wednesday and grief counselors will stay at the school for as long as they are needed.

    The district wants students to know they will have all the support they need.

    The girl's cause of death will be determined by the Medical Examiner's Office, SJSO said.

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