Sudden death of 12-year-old a mystery as family, friends grieve


The Heitzigs do not have an answer right now, and may never get one.

Last week, their 12-year-old daughter Grace died unexpectedly during the night.

She was fine the night before, not sick, and generally was a healthy young Maple Grove High School student, outside of one seizure that happened last summer, her parents Charlie and Katie Heitzig told FOX 9.

But last Tuesday morning, when Katie Heitzig went into her daughter's room, she found her rolled up in a blanket on the floor, unresponsive, she explained to WCCO.

An autopsy did not determine a reason for her death (such as an unknown medical condition), or whether the lone seizure is connected.

In an obituary in the Star Tribune, Grace is remembered as someone not afraid to try things; playing different instruments, participating in different sports, testing recipes or getting involved in school clubs.

"She leaves a legacy of bringing joy, sunshine and giggles to all who knew her," it says on her Book of Memories page. "She did not just live her life as if her glass was half full but instead it was overflowing with hope and possibilities. She will continue to live among us but we will need to adjust our way of viewing her."

You can find service details here.

Grace would have turned 13 on Friday, and students are encouraging one another to wear purple that day in her memory.

Next Up


State Patrol investigating fatal crash near Duluth

The crash was reported around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday.

eden prairie police squad car

Carjacking reported outside shopping center in Eden Prairie

One of the suspects reportedly displayed a weapon.

court gavel

8 people charged in Medicaid fraud scheme totaling $860K

Collectively, they're charged with 46 counts of felony theft.


Minnesota gets mixed grades on its tobacco report card

In Minnesota, the economic cost due to smoking is $2.519 million with 5,910 deaths per year attributed to smoking.

Hardy Wills-Traxler

Charges: Man stabbed his father, set his home on fire

The 25-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree arson.

Impound lot

Crowded impound lot raises COVID concerns after Minneapolis snow emergency

A vehicle owner complains about the tightly-packed impound lot following the weekend's snow.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, Jan. 27

The latest update from the state health department.


Charges: Bar owner, employee served underage drinkers during shutdown

The bar hosted 20-30 people on Dec. 4, 2020, charges say.

police lights

Driver wearing bulletproof vest strikes pedestrian in Rochester

The 21-year-old claimed the vest keeps him warm, according to police.