Calhoun County Coroner Pat Brown said this afternoon that state forensic investigators in Huntsville have so far been unable to determine the cause of death.
“It could take up to six months,” Brown said. “That’s how slow it is at the state level.” Brown had previously said he’d expected an answer by this evening.
Linares’ family, meanwhile, phoned The Star on Tuesday, confirming her identity and describing her as a quiet, kind girl.
Linares' uncleAdalberto Prince said the family received a call that something was wrong Monday around 2:20 p.m.
"Somebody who spoke Spanish at the high school" called the family and told them that Linares had been taken to the emergency room, Prince said.
Linares’ family is originally from Mexico, her uncle said, and her parents do not speak English.
Her younger sister Magnolia, age 12, said her sister loved to watch TV shows like Full House and iCarly.
Neighbor Karen Hernandez said Linares was a happy girl who had a beautiful smile.
"She was real sweet, not real loud," Hernandez said. "She smiled all the time."
Brown, the coroner, said Monday that the 15-year-old was found unresponsive in a bathroom at the school. She was pronounced dead at 3 p.m. that day at Regional Medical Center. Police do not suspect foul play and Brown said the cause of death is still undetermined.
Brown, Bennett and Oxford police Chief Bill Partridge all declined this morning to confirm the student’s name, citing her age and concerns that not all family members had been notified of her death.
Roy Bennett, student services coordinator for Oxford High, wrote in a press release emailed to The Star that all students and faculty were told this morning about the girl’s death. He also shared a few more details about the incident, writing that the girl experienced a medical emergency in the presence of another student in the restroom during a class change.
“A faculty member and the school nurse responded immediately,” Bennett said. “Oxford Police and the Oxford Fire Department’s first responders were on scene within minutes and the student was transported by Oxford Emergency Medical Service personnel to the hospital.”
Professionals were at the school today to help students and staff deal with their grief, he wrote.
“Counselors will be available to students and teachers throughout this day and the remainder of the week and one counselor will be dedicated to those classes which have suffered this unexpected loss,” Bennett wrote this morning.
Bennett also wrote that the high school cancelled football games Monday evening, because a B-team that was scheduled to play included a number of the student’s classmates.
Outside Oxford High this morning, there was little discernable indication that the school had experienced a tragedy the previous day.
The parking lots were filled with vehicles. Faculty were present to ensure students went where they were supposed to go. In front of the stadium, a class of students ran laps.
There was nothing to alert a casual observer that anything had taken place — except for brief splashes of purple.
A couple of students and an apparent faculty member walking into the school wore purple shirts. Another student running laps also had on a bright purple shirt. Across Twitter and Facebook on Monday evening, students were asked to wear purple in memory of the sophomore. Several students and friends offered their condolences and said they would wear the color to show their respects. One student even said she would bring flowers.
“There has been a request by friends for students to wear purple today, in remembrance of their classmate,” Bennett wrote.