Coroner: Girl, 10, Died From Fatal Blow To Head After Fight With Classmate

LONG BEACH (CBS) — The death of a fifth-grade Long Beach student has been ruled a homicide following a fight with a fellow female student, the Los Angeles County Coroner determined Monday.

The coroner’s office said Joanna Ramos, 10, died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Ramos, 10, died Friday night following an after-school fight in an alley with a classmate, Long Beach Police said. Fellow students at Willard Elementary School say the fight was over a boy.

“It was determined that after school, the two girls, and approximately seven onlookers, walked to a nearby alley to engage in a pre-planned fight,” police said.

The fight only lasted about a minute and didn’t involve any weapons.

“She did not hit her head. The other girl just punched her in the face. She started bleeding from the nose,” according to Joanna’s witness and friend Maggie Martinez.

After the fight, Ramos complained of a headache and left an after-school program early, officials said.

The victim’s mother, Cecilia Villanueva, talked to CBS2 about the disturbing final moments of Ramos’ life.

“When I get there Joanna was laid down by the driveway, on the cement. I asked her what happened. She said, ‘I don’t feel good, mommy,'” Villanueva said. “The only thing she told me was, ‘A girl hit me in my head,’ and then she began vomiting more and more.”

Villanueva, who is a medical assistant, brought her daughter home, where she lost consciousness. She and her husband transported Ramos to the hospital and Villanueva performed CPR on her in the car.

Ramos wasn’t breathing and was unconscious when she was brought into an emergency room at approximately 5:50 p.m. Friday, police said.

Villanueva said doctors had to “bring her back to life” several times that night. Ramos underwent surgery, but, 10 minutes out of the procedure, at about 8:50 p.m., the 10-year-old’s heart stopped for the last time.

“There are times when words do not convey the sense of sadness and loss that we feel, and this is one of those times,” Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster said.

Ramos’ family said their daughter kept a journal on her iPod about being bullied at Willard Elementary School.

Police say there is no evidence that points to bullying as the cause of death for Ramos. No arrests have been made and authorities are determining if they will file criminal charges against the unidentified student.

The Long Beach School District is conducting a disciplinary investigation.

Grief counselors were on hand Monday for students at Willard Elementary School where a memorial to Ramos has been set up.

  • Bob

    You have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. They are going to decide if criminal charges should be brought. Let’s see; kid is dead. Maybe someone should pay the price to set an example to the rest of these young people that behaving like your TV favorietes: Snookie and JWoww and all the poorly behaved Teen Moms we see fighting; is NOT appropriate. Where are their role models, ie: mom and dad. This is truely sad and pathetic and needs to be put in it’s place.

    • juztees

      kid’s are getting away with MURDER….

    • RS

      Sections 1714 and 1714.1(a) California Civil Code holds the parents civilly responsible for the actions of their children. Here is an opportunity for the “State” to do the right thing. Make the Perpetrators Parents pay for the Hospital bills, Police Investigation, Corner’s Investigation, Burial costs through a Court ordered Restitution Hearing. Joanna Ramos and her family are victims; make the Perpetrators Parents’ pay, just like the Law says. Will that happen? Not a chance with District Attorney Steve Cooley in charge. Sadly, there will be no justice for Joanna Ramos, or, for her grieving family.

      • RS

        Keith, clearly you never went to law school, nor even have a remote clue about the gradations of homicide. The law basically says, someone dies someone is responsible; simple as that. Ever heard of manslaughter? Dueling is illegal; this fight was dueling with fists. Someone died, a little girl, it’s a homicide; the law says there are consequences. The truth is, no justice will come from Steve Cooley’s office, rarely does. Elect a better District Attorney and vote of tougher Judges who know the law. Keith, you are heartless and cruel, siding with the Perpetrator in this case. People like you are part of the problem, not the solution.

      • keith

        THIS is what i know to be FACT. 5 years ago i was out with my wife and my 10 year old son. a kid he went to school with was also at this same eatery. the other kid shoved my son and punched him in the face my son hit him ONE TIME square in the nose and the kid went down like a lead brick. the place called police who came and arrested both boys and promptly released them both to the parents a court date was set up to deal with as i said THE MUTUAL COMBAT charge on both boys. 6 days later the boy that hit my son died of a hemorage in his head the parents tried to nail my son and my wife and i for it. the judge threw it out because there was no way to show that my son knew the other boys had some weakness that would cause him to die from ONE PUNCH. when asked by the parents WHY we were not liable the judge said
        so i hold to my belife that the parents in this case can not be held liable
        and that the girl her self is not liable for any level of homicide since it is not reasonable to think that a 1 min fight could cause death.
        all they can do to this kid is what they did to mine ANGER CLASS’

      • keith

        the child is a victim?? how do you figure?? BOTH of the girls got into this fight WILLINGLY it is called MUTUAL COMBAT in any fight BOTH of them would be arrested if the cops had been called they were BOTH wrong yes sadly this kid died, but she died from a fight she got into willingly the other girl did not JUMP HER.

      • RS

        Good Grief. Clueless. I quoted only California Civil Code. Civil Liability is distinct and separate from Criminal Liability. Your arguments and statements change none of that.
        Remember O.J.? O.J. was found innocent in Criminal Court, but Guilty in Civil Court, and he is on the hook for millions.
        I will stand by my statement, no justice will come from Steve Cooley’s office.

    • Jamie

      I (sort of) agree with you Bob…….have you seen ‘The Bad Girls Club’? I don’t know that lawsuits will help; we need to clean up the morals/society. My gosh this is sad and sickening.

    • marc

      what exactly do you think can be done to a 5th grd kid?? NO A DANG THING even if they press charges they can not really do a thing to the other girl so what is the point?

      • Whiskey…Tango…Foxtrot

        @ icecream: This is California, not only is there no negative consequences to illegal behavior, often times its’ rewarded.

      • icecream

        Prosecute her and she will hopefully learn that there are consequences to illegal behavior.

  • D

    Where were the conflict resolution people? Where were the teachers? Why didn’t anyone try to stop this before it happened? Some friends, standing around watching. With friends like that, she didn’t need enemies.

    • Glenn E Grab

      d….the world owes nothing to anybody….you must be an aspiring lawyer…

  • Nunya

    !0 yo’s fighting over a stupid boy???? It’s disgusting enough that adult women fight over guys (because they are not worth it), but to have little girls doing this? What kind of parents do they have? The parents should be brought up on charges for sucking as parents and CPS take their kid away from them.

    • Shamhna

      Look at the bigger picture. Parts of Long Beach are steeped in quinceanera culture; girls are encouraged to find mates as young as possible, and have babies before they even graduate high school. College? Out of the question. As for this young lady’s parents, they seemed to have been blindsided by this, although it’s odd that the mom, being a medical assistant, didn’t take her to the hospital right away. Any medical professional should know that head injury + vomiting means go to the E.R. immediately, but maybe her daughter didn’t mention the head injury right away.

      • Shamhna

        Trevor: that is correct. The origin of the quinceanera is to let possible suitors know that a girl is available for marriage. IMO, 15 years old is much too young to present a girl as a “senora” to the community. In contrast, the Filipino “debut” or “debutante ball” occurs when a young lady turns 18, during her senior year of high school, or after her graduation. Part of the reason for that: higher education is much valued in the Filipino community. Both boys and girls are encouraged by their parents to attend college before marriage.

      • Paula G.

        I dont know where you got your information from but the “quincenera” culture does not encourge you to fine a mate !! nor does it mean that you have a baby before graduating. Please get your facts straight before writing anything.

      • trevor

        Paula G let me you a few questions about the” “quincenera’
        1) is it not basicly a “comming out party” where the young lady is now welcomed to WOMANHOOD??
        2) is it not the same as the DEBUTANTE ball to those of us from Euro decent?
        3) is it not the same thing as a BAR MITZVAH to the Jewish people?
        if so then it DOES encourage one to take a mate soon. for me being of EURO decent a DEBUTANTE BALL is the night at age 16-17 depending on the family when you LAUNCH your daughter on socity so that SUITORS can now begin to call on her. the whole concept os the: debutante ball, bar mitzvah and quincenera is to launch your child on socity as an adult. actually the BAR MITZVAH is for the men of the jewish socity the girls get a BAT MITZVAH but same diffrence

    • anonymous

      I Know Her Parent First Hand And Its Not Her Parents Fault Her Mom Didnt Even Know What Was Going On Things Happen At School All The Time And Parents Dont And Wont Know Until something Happens Or A Teacher Calls…..

  • James T

    What a tragedy, 2 young lives runined and lost!

  • M.R

    They better file charges……its not OK to be going around punching people.
    If they let her go, she’ll do it again!

    • curamach

      I would have disagreed with you yesterday when I heard she was simply punched in the face. Now it’s alleged that the other girl GRABBED Joanna by the hair, YANKED her head down, and then SMASHED her knee into Joanna’s forehead.

      It’s wasn’t some pre-existing medical condition or freak accident that killed her. It was a brutal homicide perpetrated by a young thug who needs to face the consequences.

    • juztees


  • Bob

    I am giong to say something that most won’t like, but here it goes: she went there WILLINGLY to fight the other girl, and it could”ve easily been the other girl who died, so I don’t think any charges should be filed. The parents of both these girls failed them, as did the parents of the kids who just stood by and watched, but that is not the fault 10 year old kids.

    • ACE

      She will be taken to a juvenile detention center and out until she turns 25

    • Chris

      I agree….most wont like what you said but its totally true….

    • FidelityBraveryIntegrity

      You do have a point Bob….but of course they won’t just let it go. They will probably give her a very lenient sentence and couceling…but its still very sad.

    • Concetta

      Maybe the girl that died went because she was bullied into thinking it would be worse for if she didn’t. Maybe the parents had no idea, but the kids knew and should have spoke up to a teacher. Yes, I believe the girl that hit her needs to be disciplined and show others there will be no tolerance for this kind of behavior. Why not? The other girl paid with her life. This other girl should be suspended and have mandatory counseling, put into some sort of program to learn how to treat people with respect and she should also be scared straight.

      • juztees


  • debbie

    Charges need to be filed, its obvious the other girl has a history and knew what she was doing. Charges must be filed, she cannot get away with murder.

    • Kitty

      How is it obvious that the other girl has a history? This is a sketchy report and you know NOTHING about the other girl. Man, I thought the comments on YouTube were bad; the comments here are like a showcase of ignorance.

      • juztees


    • FidelityBraveryIntegrity

      As true as that is Debbie, she more than likely wont be charged with murder. But instead something of a lesser charge.

  • Coroner: Girl, 10, Died From Fatal Blow To Head After Fight With Classmate – CBS Local |

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  • Chris

    Sad thing is these 2 girls were fighting over Pedro who is 23 years old

  • FidelityBraveryIntegrity

    But I am a little confused. Are they saying she died from what amounts to a concusion…or did something else happen when she got home. maybe her parents were extremely unhappy and got crazy???

    • juztees


    • marc

      she was young her skull is not likely as hard as an adult would be so when the other girl hit her it did damage and more or less scrambled her brain

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  • DRabbit

    What I can’t believe is that your news reporter, Juan Fernandez tracked down the second girl involved in the fight, and interviewed her without her parent or guardian’s permission! It is also appalling to me that an editor or supervisor didn’t pull the story and reprimand him for going after a minor like that. Getting that interview is more important than respecting peoples rights? Even though you blurred her face, she’s a minor!!! And so was the other girl he interviewed and posted her name. Minor’s names should NOT be posted in the news. And shame on you for going after the other girl like that! Have you turned into the paparazzi??!!??

  • Concetta

    This really upsets me. They have no evidence of bullying? Say What? So she died and it had nothing to do with bullying. Her diary is telling you she was being bullied. Teachers and police need to listen. There is a lot of bullying at school still and cyber bullying and it needs desperate attention. No tolerance and bullies should be suspended or expelled. Our children should feel 100% safe when going to school. I am so tired of hearing of killings and suicides just this past year alone because kids are hurting deeply. Something needs to be done now.

    • juztees

      Nothing will ever change in this world as long as the media keep promoting their filthy show’s of jersey shore and south park cartoon’s etc….and in the school’s and churches our kid’s are being molested.
      I’m so glad that I alway’s counsel my kid’s to be alert and walk away from stupid kid’s. I feel the kid’s need to speak up to their parent’s right away. This is very tragic. The parent’s in this case need a good lawyer with good credentials.

  • BL in LB
  • susy

    when thy asked the girl wat to say to the family she said sorry but you can notice she doesnt mean it

  • Paula G.

    I agree with both Bob & Jamie. It all starts at home. What we allow our kids to watch plays a BIG part in growing up. TV is not what is was 15 years ago….

  • John

    Even though both girls went to fight willingly, Joanna Ramos died as a result of being kneed on her head. It was wrong for both of them a 10 and 11 year-old, to be involved in a fistfight, especially over a boy, but a girl died because of this. The other girl who knows how to pull someone by the hair and them slam her head against her knee should be locked up no doubt about it. She should not be free to roam around her ‘hood. She is NOT innocent. She should have been taken into custody that same day because her actions caused someone to die. She should be locked up until age 18 in juvie even if the charge is manslaughter. .It’s a no-brainer that she should be locked up. What are the police waiting for? Obviously, they cannot do anything right. If that had happened to my daughter and nothing was done by the authorities, then the person who harms her, child or not, will be subject to my wrath and so would anyone in her family, namely the parents(dogs) who brought her into this world, and, any other family members and friends as well. Juan Fernandez CBS2 reporter, good for you for catching up to that little weasel and all she had to say was a lame “I’m sorry.” It is one thing when there is a fistfight but both sides live and only need to nurse any injuries, but when someone dies, especially a 10 year-old child, everything changes. The “winner” needs to pay for her actions. I’m surprised that she is still here in the U.S. and has returned to Mexico. If she and her family had any brains (it’s obvious they don’t) they would whisk her and themselves out of here and back to Mexico like a good coward does.

    • marc

      John I agree that something SHOULD be done but you must realize NOTHING can be done. our system is not set up to punish children for this sort of thing. the worst they could do is put her in Juvie as you stated till she is 18. then let her out which means it is a JUVIE RECORD and it must be sealed at age 18. when i am sure you know means IT WILL NOT REALLY PUNISH HER.

  • Janet

    If the comment above that the fight was over a 23 yr old man is true,if he has been encouraging 10 and 11 year old girls to believe that he is interested in them, he should be punished. 23 year old men have no business bothering with 10 and 11 year old girls.
    My experience in living in a community of mexican immigrants is that girls are socialized to be just like boys. They are basically encouraged to be tomboys. In
    almost 3 1/2 years,I never saw a girl of any age carrying a doll. I did see them trying to keep up with boys athletically.

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  • shouldhavestayed

    Very sad, I sometime wonder if the victims families of crime do not wish they had remained in their Mexican villages.

  • juztees

    Well, if there is no justice on part of the legal system, then well…who know’s what or how they will handle to get the solution resolved.

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