By FRANCISCO E. JIMENEZ
The investigation into the death of 7-year-old Ruby Ramirez has thus far uncovered that she may have accidentally choked on a balloon, at least according to San Benito police citing preliminary autopsy results.
Ramirez, a first grade student at Sullivan Elementary School in San Benito, collapsed while on campus Monday, Jan. 28. San Benito CISD officials have stated that Ramirez was with a parent when she collapsed.
Jay De La Cruz, pastor of Iglesia Cristiana Fuego De Dios (Fire of God Christian Church), has spoken on behalf of Ramirez’ family, reporting that the girl, who he said had no preexisting conditions nor was on any medications that required the administering of pills, began to vomit blood following her collapse and even had to be revived at one point before reaching a local hospital. School district officials have also stated that a nurse on the scene performed emergency aid while waiting for EMS technicians’ arrival.
Ramirez died Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 11:59 a.m.
An autopsy was performed at approximately 9 a.m. and lasted until 12 p.m. Wednesday, according to police.
“All signs point to lack of oxygen or oxygen depletion,” said San Benito Police Department Assistant Operations Chief Michael Galvan about the preliminary autopsy results. “Right now it looks like asphyxia due to internal occlusion of airway by a balloon. We did seize the balloon, which looks like a regular party balloon; it was found in her airway.”
Still, Galvan said that the investigation will continue despite said findings.
“We’ll still try to gather more facts,” Galvan said before describing the series of events that may have led to the girl’s death. “From what we do know, after the results of the preliminary autopsy, when she ran from the playground to her mother she must have had the balloon in her mouth. It caused her to choke and faint, injuring her mouth and causing her to bleed. She was turned over to try to perform CPR, not knowing that blood was going down her throat.”
“It’s just one of those unfortunate things that happen,” Galvan further remarked. “With the evidence we have, everything is pointing to an accidental death.”