The death of Raniya Wright, the 10-year-old girl who collapsed after a fight at her South Carolina elementary school a month ago, was caused by a medical condition she was born with, officials said Friday.
According to a study by forensic pathologists at the Medical University of South Carolina, Raniya had a condition called arteriovenous malformation, a tangle of abnormal blood vessels in the brain, and died after one of them ruptured.
There was no sign that the fight contributed to her death, said Duffie Stone, a county prosecutor, who said he would not be filing criminal charges.
The death of Raniya, a fifth grader, caused an outpouring of grief and made national headlines, with her parents and many others demanding answers for how an elementary school could have allowed a fight to lead to a child’s death.
But county officials said that was not what occurred.
“There was no evidence of trauma on or inside the body,” Mr. Stone said. “There were no bruises, no cuts, no scrapes, no busted lips, no black eyes.”
The only internal trauma was linked to the ruptured blood vessel inside the brain, he said.
Headaches are a symptom of the condition Raniya had, and she had complained of headaches and dizziness seven times over the past two years, Mr. Stone said at a news conference.
But Raniya’s mother and grandfather responded to the medical report with disbelief.
“For three weeks, we were waiting, this is what we get, a cover-up,” said her grandfather, Ernest Wright, speaking at a separate news conference after county officials announced the findings. “Natural causes did not trigger my granddaughter to die.”
What caused the blood vessel rupture that day? he asked. “There was a reason.”
Raniya’s mother, Ashley Wright, said her daughter had been active and healthy, playing a full basketball season. She said she had never been aware of any health problems until her daughter collapsed.
“I’m going to find out what happened to my baby,” she said.
Raniya had been involved in a short “slap fight” in her classroom on March 25, the day she collapsed, Sheriff R.A. Strickland of Colleton County said at the news conference.
The fight occurred at Forest Hills Elementary School in Walterboro, S.C., about an hour west of Charleston. Raniya died two days later.
Ms. Wright said that Raniya had been bullied in her class. On Facebook, Ms. Wright posted a photo of her kissing her daughter’s cheek as Raniya lay in a hospital bed wearing a neck brace and hooked up to tubes.
“Stay woke PARENTS!” she wrote.
Ms. Wright repeated her charge on Friday that her daughter had been bullied, saying that the same girl had been harassing Raniya since she was in third grade.
“What’s going to be done about it?” she asked. “Whose child is going to be next with this same girl?”