Sheriff’s Office: 16-year-old girl’s death followed accidental injury
ARAB, Ala. — The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office has released an update on the investigation into the death of a 16-year-old girl from Arab.
Sheriff Scott Walls said that Isabella “Belle” Marie Smith passed away as a result of an accidental injury. The injury happened on private property in the Brashier Chapel area of Brindlee Mountain. No further details that can be released at this time as this investigation continues. This information will be forwarded to the District Attorney to be presented to the next Marshall County Grand Jury, which is standard protocol for cases such as this.
The following is from an earlier version of the story, published September 18, 2017.
News of a 16-year-old girl’s death resounded around the Arab community as the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate.
On Monday night, family and friends gathered at the Arab High School parking lot to mourn the loss of Belle Smith. They gathered at her assigned parking lot, now adorned with flowers and tributes to her.
“Right now we’re focusing on honoring the student and her family,” said principal Brad Cooper during an interview earlier in the day, “We’re working on grief counseling for our students and our teachers right now.”
Belle Smith died over the weekend near Arab. The cause of death has not been released.
“There are still facts that are being investigated,” said Marshall County Sheriff Scott Walls, “We’re waiting on reports from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, and as soon as we know the truth we’ll make the public aware of that.”
Sheriff Walls says there is a lot of information circulating on social media that he says isn’t factual. “Facebook has become where it causes a lot of problems in investigations like this. I would encourage you not to believe what’s on Facebook and wait for the facts.”
Facts that will come out as the investigation continues and when the results from the autopsy come back.
In the meantime at Arab High School, the students and the staff continue to remember their friend and classmate. “The students have been great. They’ve been giving a lot of hugs this morning and that’s what we’re here for. That’s our number one priority this week,” Cooper said.
As of right now investigators do not believe foul play is a factor. The Sheriff’s Office hopes the autopsy results will be back this week. Right now, Sheriff Walls says nothing indicates any potential charges, but that could change with the results.