The deceased girl was discovered by her 9-year-old sister on Sunday, Oct. 13.
Santa Ana Police Department Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told the publication.
Family identified her as Allison Wendel and have since set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the funeral expenses.
Her death appeared to be a suicide and she did not appear to have left a note, Bertagna said.
Detectives are said to be working with Orange County coroner’s office to investigate whether the fifth-grader may have been a victim of bullying.
Students at the school said they knew Wendel was being bullied because it was posted on social media.
On Monday, crisis counselors reportedly attended Hazard Elementary School in Santa Ana, where the victim was a student, and are expected to remain there throughout the week.
The Garden Grove Unified School District is assisting in the investigation and held a moment of silence during the district’s board meeting on Tuesday, KTLA reported.
In a statement, district officials said its schools have longstanding positive behavior interventions and support programs, and take a positive approach to promoting a “positive school culture.”
They said: “Hazard Elementary, as well as the district as a whole, are committed to our district’s Goal 2, developing personal skills in students, which includes their socio-emotional wellness and a warm and welcoming climate at school,” the statement read. “Recently, the district launched a Choose Wellness Campaign aimed at increasing awareness and ensuring all students, staff, and families have access to mental health and wellness support. Our district has a plethora of mental health resources and is committed to ensuring all students have a safe place to turn for emotional support.”
Wendel’s cousin Bonnie Mesinas, who also set up the GoFundMe page, told KTLA that the death had come as a shock.
“She was a beautiful little girl full of happiness, and she was always smiling,” she told the publication.
A statement on the GoFundMe page reads: “On October 13 we lost a great little angel. We would now like to ask for your support to raise funds for the funeral expenses for Allison Ruth Wendel. The Wendel Hernandez Family will appreciate your help.”
If you or someone you may know is having suicidal thoughts, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.