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Medical examiner: White Bear Lake student died by hanging


The death of a White Bear Lake high school student last week after an incident at school was caused by hanging, the Ramsey County medical examiner said Monday, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Sawyer Moeller, a freshman at the school, was injured Nov. 10 during a theater rehearsal, according to KSTP, and he died 11 days later. A police statement said Moeller was found with a red mark or abrasion on his neck, adding that there were no witnesses.

Authorities have described the incident as an accident, and at least one student described it as a "prank gone wrong."

Moeller's mother, Kris Nordstrom, released a statement Monday afternoon, according to the Pioneer Press.

"In regard to Sawyer Moeller's accidental death. While these teenage boys were goofing around after school, Sawyer was alone briefly. His friend returned to find Sawyer injured. He bravely called 911 and began CPR," Nordstrom said.

Police are still piecing together exactly what happened, according to the Associated Press.

Organs donated

At a memorial service for Sawyer Moeller on Sunday night, his mother said the teenager's organs have been donated to dozens of people awaiting transplants.

"Sawyer is our hero," Nordstrom said during the service. (See video above.) "He lives on in the lives of others."

Sawyer's heart was given to a 13-year-old girl, she said in the video, adding with a laugh, "which I suppose would have happened at some point."

A 62-year-old man received Sawyer's liver after waiting 422 days for a transplant. One of Sawyer's kidneys and his pancreas went to a 48-year-old woman who waited 567 days; his other kidney went to a 60-year-old woman who waited 562 days.

His tissue will go on to help hundreds, and he also donated his gift of sight, Nordstrom said.

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