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Dodge county sheriff's office continues investigation into 7th graders death


KASSON/MANTORVILLE, Minn. (KTTC)--  The adjacent communities of Kasson and Mantorville, are still in mourning over Rachel Ehmke's death, but now many are seeking answers -- what led to such a tragic loss?

The sheriff's investigators here in Dodge County are the only people who might know what might have pushed Rachel over the edge.

The Thursday evening before Rachel's death a text message had gone out to a number of the Kasson-Mantorville middle school students. The sender had blocked his or her identity. And the specific context is not known to us, but the message did address Rachel in a negative way.

Superintendent Mark Matuska says, "When the kids received the message... the students went to middle school principal Al Hodge. They reported that they had received a very inappropriate text message."

Mr. Hodge immediately contacted Superintendent Matuska. To Mr. Matuska it was evident that law enforcement needed to get involved.

After working with the school throughout the process, a Dodge County sheriff's office investigator contacted the school last Wednesday.

Matuska explains, "The report we got back from law enforcement was that they had found out where this text had originated. The text was not from a current Kasson-Mantorville student."

Authorities say the text came from an anonymous website and they were able to trace that text to its source. But they have yet to give answers other than it did not come from a current student.

Matuska talks about the situation, "The kids did the right thing, the difficult thing is we just lost a very precious girl in our community."

You never know what's going through someone's mind when they make the decision to end their life. Certainly other factors than bullying come into play but Mr. Matuska is doing what he can to prevent it from happening again.

Matuska goes on, "We know that kids need to make decisions-whether to be mean or nice. We want to continue to work with parents to make sure that the foundation of right from wrong is established at home and we want to enhance that in the schools."

The school says it intends to strengthen a number of anti-bullying programs.

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