NNPD: Teenage resident of mental health facility dies

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Homicide detectives are investigating the death of a 17-year-old girl.

The teenager was a resident of the Newport News Behavioral Health Center. The health center is a residential mental health treatment facility for people aged 11 to 18, according to its website.

Newport News spokesperson MPO Brandon Maynard said the teenager was taken to Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital on June 29 — the same day she died. Maynard couldn’t confirm if her death happened at the health center or the hospital.

The Newport News Police Department was alerted to the teenager’s death on June 30 and began their investigation. Officers are currently waiting to find out the teenager’s cause of death from an autopsy. That will help them determine if she died from abuse, neglect or noncriminal causes, Maynard said.

The health center — which can treat up to 108 inpatient residents at a time — uses a “cognitive behavior treatment model,” according to its website. There is also an adjacent Acute Care Facility that treats people aged 8 to 17 who are in mental health crises.

Programs include therapy, substance abuse treatment and 24-hour nursing care, according to its website.

10 On Your Side reached out to the behavioral health center, and received this reply from Chief Executive Officer Paul Kirkham:

“Last week, a patient recently admitted to our residential treatment center became ill and was transferred to a nearby medical hospital where she subsequently passed away. We are cooperating fully in the investigation and will continue to do so.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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