Investigators await autopsy report on child |

Investigators await autopsy report on child

Gregory Crofton

The death of a South Tahoe Middle School sixth-grader early Tuesday morning remains a mystery.

South Lake Tahoe Police Sgt. Tom Conner said Wednesday he’s waiting for results from an autopsy of 11-year-old Claudia Torres. Friday is the earliest he expects to get an answers. He said toxicology tests could take several weeks.

“We have an unattended death, a suspicious death. We don’t know if it’s accidental,” Connor said. “It looks accidental, but we’re still investigating whether there is any criminal aspect to the case.

“We won’t be sure until we get all the results back from the autopsy what she had in her system, if someone gave her a drug or she took a drug. She may have had hole in her heart or an aneurysm, we just don’t know.”

Conner said so far he’s heard a bunch of stories concerning the last two or three hours of Torres’ life that don’t jibe, and that he and other detectives are still trying to piece together what happened.

What police do know is that some people who are not family members drove Torres to Barton Memorial Hospital and brought her inside the emergency room around 1:30 a.m. After medical treatment failed, Torres was pronounced dead at 2:08 a.m.

Officers who arrived at the hospital to investigate “suspicious circumstances” could not determine who the girl was and therefore had to authorize her medical treatment themselves.

Investigators later learned Torres’ name by talking with friends and family.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.