Family Blames Bullying for 13-Year-Old Virginia Girl's Suicide

Viewing held for Faith Crusenberry

By Jackie Bensen
|  Sunday, Dec 8, 2013  |  Updated 10:40 AM EDT
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Grieving family and friends are trying to figure out if bullying led a 13-year-old Virginia girl to commit suicide.

Jackie Bensen

Grieving family and friends are trying to figure out if bullying led a 13-year-old Virginia girl to commit suicide.

Grieving family and friends of a 13-year-old Berryville, Va., girl are asking whether she was bullied before committing suicide last weekend.

At the funeral home in Herndon where a viewing for Faith Crusenberry was held Friday, there were no smiles or funny stories about the deceased. There was only a crushing sense of grief and despair.

“It hurts really bad, and we all wish she could be here, and we all wish we could have found some way to get her back,” friend Kaycee Davis said.

Something terrible broke the spirit of Faith, described as a bright, bubbly girl and an excellent student with a lovely singing voice.

"My stepdaughter took her own life on Sunday afternoon, due to bullying,” Faith’s stepfather Mike Mantz told News4 in a statement. “I want awareness increased. I do not want my daughter to die in vain."

Faith attended Johnson-Williams Middle School in Berryville. Clarke County Public Schools officials did not immediately respond to News4's requests for comment on the family's concerns about bullying.

Classmates’ parents say Faith's death profoundly affected not just the school, but the entire community.

“We all care about our children, Faith and our own, and many of the children in Berryville are, ‘saddened’ isn’t the right word” family friend David Mikolajczak

In the days after her death, grief counselors were made available to students at Faith's school, and they will be there for as long as they're needed, officials said.

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