Unexpected death of Kaysville teen under investigation

Published: Wednesday, March 27 2013 6:45 p.m. MDT

KAYSVILLE — Police are investigating the unexpected death of a 13-year-old Centennial Junior High School student.

Rebecca Tibbitts died early Monday of natural causes, according to an obituary published in the Deseret News on Wednesday. Kaysville Police Sgt. Paul Thompson said police are awaiting results of an autopsy to determine the actual cause of the teenager's death, which could take as long as six to eight weeks.

Thompson said a possible drowning in the home is under investigation, but no foul play is suspected. While other family members were home at the time and called police, none are being questioned in the investigation.

"It is unusual when anyone not seeing a physician dies unexpectedly," he said, adding that Tibbitts was otherwise healthy.

Three full-time counselors and two assistant principals trained with grief counseling were available at the school for any students grieving from the news of Tibbitts' death. Davis School District spokesman Chris Williams said about 30 students checked out early on Monday after hearing the news of Tibbitts' passing and an additional 10 to 12 students were absent Tuesday.

Williams said a lot of students, who may not have faced grief before, don't necessarily know how to react to the news that a fellow student has died. He said the girl, an eighth-grader at Centennial, was "well-liked" and that was evident in the response at the school.

Tibbitts' obituary said she was a member of the school's track team and participated with the Science Olympiad.

Many students wore Sunday dress to school on Tuesday, showing support for Tibbitts. Family members were overwhelmed by the display when they came to the school to pick up a photograph of Tibbitts for use in the obituary, Williams said.

Centennial Principal Aaron Hogge said Friday's assembly schedule will be altered to allow students to attend Tibbitts' funeral, which will be held at 11 a.m., at the Kaysville West Stake Center, 270 W. Burton Lane.

E-mail: wleonard@deseretnews.com, Twitter: wendyleonards

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