An 11-year-old Miller Middle School student was found dead Tuesday night at his home in the Shenandoah subdivision, about eight miles southwest of Durango.
According to the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office, around 9 p.m. Tuesday a parent reported finding the boy unresponsive and not breathing in his bedroom.
Attempts to revive the boy were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Wednesday.
The Sheriff’s Office mistakenly reported Wednesday that the boy was 12 years old. He was 11 years old.
La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith said an autopsy was performed Thursday. Smith said a final determination on the cause of death is pending and results of a toxicology test will take about a month to be complete.
However, Smith said the boy died from asphyxiation, and the death has been ruled an accident.
Authorities declined to identify the juvenile.
Miller Middle School Principal Vicki Trousdale sent the following letter Wednesday:
“Dear Miller Middle School Families,
“It is with great sadness that I inform you that one of our students passed away yesterday. Due to the information on social media, we have felt it best to inform students of the loss. We have counselor support at the school and will notify parents if their child seeks supports.
“The family is a part of the Miller Middle School community, and we are all deeply affected by this news. We know you will join us in our concern and extend your sympathy for the family.
“Students and staff will react in different ways to the death of a student. We should all expect and try to understand that there will be a variety of emotions and responses to what has occurred.
“The most important thing you can do is to be supportive and encourage an open expression of feelings. We recommend maintaining as normal a routine as possible. This recommendation has evolved from the district’s experience with death in the past and the advice of mental health professionals from the community.”