8-year-old's hanging death ruled a homicide - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

8-year-old's hanging death ruled a homicide

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The scene where Katelynn Arnold's body was discovered hanging from a tree has been cordoned off by officials. The scene where Katelynn Arnold's body was discovered hanging from a tree has been cordoned off by officials.
Katelynn Arnold was in the third grade at Ragland Elementary. Katelynn Arnold was in the third grade at Ragland Elementary.
RAGLAND, AL (WBRC) -

Authorities are investigating the death of an 8-year-old girl found hanging from a tree in Ragland as a homicide.

Katelynn Arnold, a third grader at Ragland Elementary, was found hanging from a rope on a  tree at her family's home on Poplar Ridge Lane Thursday night.

The completed autopsy shows Katelynn died as a result of strangulation by ligature, confirms St. Clair County coroner Dennis Russell. Before the autopsy was completed, the coroner called the girl's death suspicious. The autopsy rules her death as a homicide.

The Associated Press reports that the St. Clair County Sheriff's office has a juvenile suspect in custody in connection to Katelynn's death.

Neighbors say the rope the girl was hanging from was at one time part of an old tire swing. The coroner described it as "like a big cotton rope."

Katelynn's body was discovered just after 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 10.

Officials from Ragland Elementary School say Katelynn was a student there. They plan to have grief counselors on hand Friday for students.

Neither the Ragland Police Department nor the St. Clair County Sheriff's Office have made an official statement on Katelynn's death. A press conference has been called for 1 p.m.

Check back with this story for updates.

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