Classmates counseled after B.G. eighth grader dies

13-year-old attended Chief Umtuch; cause investigated



A team of Battle Ground School District counselors gathered at Chief Umtuch Middle School on Thursday to meet with grieving students who learned an eighth grade classmate had died Wednesday night, district officials said.

Isabelle Helen Sarkinen, 13, was taken by ambulance from the family home to a Vancouver hospital. From there, she was transferred by LifeFlight helicopter to Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel in Portland, where she was pronounced dead, according to a press release from the district.

The Battle Ground Police Department on Friday said the death was a suicide.

On Thursday, a half dozen counselors from various schools in the district assembled in the school library to meet both one-on-one and in small groups with approximately 150 students. District spokesman Gregg Herrington said additional counselors will be available at the school today.

Principal David Cresap called on the family Thursday morning. In a letter that was sent home with students Thursday afternoon, Cresap wrote that “our deepest sympathies are now going out to her family and friends.” Cresap’s letter included a list of resources to help students cope with grief, and he invited parents with questions to call school counselors.

Isabelle was the daughter of Craig and Nina Sarkinen of Battle Ground.