Middle school student's cause of death determined - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Middle school student's cause of death determined

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BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) -

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that 12-year-old Celeste Wills died as a result of suicide on Wednesday.

This isn't the first time a student from Robert Smalls Middle School has died. About three years ago, another student died but it also was not on school grounds.

The sheriff's office said the cause of death in that investigation remains undetermined.

The other question that remains in Wills' death is why?

Many believe she took her own life because she was bullied, but the school district and law enforcement have not released any official information on this part of the investigation.

This has been a difficult process for the entire community.

The school district sent dozens of social workers and guidance counselors to the school on Thursday and many returned of their own volition on Friday to comfort the students.

"School communities are like families in a very real sense," said Beaufort County School Districts' Jim Foster. "They pull together, they're like a family unit, and when something like this happens, one of your family members that goes away, there is this sense of loss that's hard to deal with."

Her beautiful, innocent smile combined with her passion for helping others are just a few of the things people remember about Celeste Wills.

"Everyone says the same thing: terrific kid, great student, academically talented, artistically talented-she played the strings, the violin, two days a week she was in the office helping the office staff do their jobs…lot of friends…just a terrific kid," added Foster.

Celeste's mother posted a "Stop Bullying in memory of Celeste Wills" photo on her Facebook page, which has garnered a lot of attention.

The family closed their "Beauty Mark Tattoo" shop along Savannah Highway.

Community Bible Church pastor Ed Vernoy  consoled the family and spoke at the vigil.

He said they're slowly coming to terms with her death.

"What makes it difficult is when you're not expecting it. We look to something to blame, we look to a reason and it makes it that much harder to accept when there is nothing to blame, nothing to cause this tragedy," said Vernoy.

Through this, he hopes this will shed light on what's important.

"Life is but a vapor Scripture says, it's here one moment and gone the next, so appreciate the time that you have with your family, make the most of it, because you never know what may happen tomorrow."

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