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Thursday, May 13th, 2010
By Margie Wuebker
Mendon 10-year-old girl found dead in bed
  MENDON - The Mercer County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a 10-year-old Mendon girl Wednesday morning, believed to be of natural causes.
Zoe Ilene-Michelle Crider, 106 N. Wayne St., was in bed when her mother attempted to awaken her for school.
Beth Krick called 911 at 6:40 a.m. to report the girl was not breathing. Following a dispatcher's directions, she placed her daughter on the bedroom floor and started CPR. The procedure continued in the ambulance en route to Van Wert County Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
Detectives found nothing at the scene to suggest foul play but launched an investigation, which is standard procedure in the death of anyone younger than 18.
Van Wert County Coroner Dr. Scott Jarvis ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Zoe, also the daughter of Sean L. Crider, 306 S. Main St., Rockford, was a fourth-grader at Parkway Local School. She reportedly attended classes there Tuesday.
Elementary Principal Mark Esselstein said school officials learned of the girl's death from family friends and waited until they knew the wishes of the parents before making an announcement around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Home room teachers read a prepared statement to their students.
Counselors and pastors were on hand today to talk with the girl's classmates and others having problems dealing with the tragedy. Zoe's brother, Zachary Crider, is a seventh-grader at Parkway.
Esselstein said numerous students sought assistance this morning. Counselors and pastors will return as the need continues.
"Zoe was a delightful girl...very personable, very smart," elementary principal Mark Esselstein said. "She was a delight to be around and her death comes as a great shock. There is no way to prepare for something like this."
Funeral arrangements are pending at W.H. Dick & Sons-Hellwarth Funeral Home, Mendon.
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