The 9-1-1 call came in just before 4 p.m. Saturday and by shortly after 6:30, Monroeville Local Schools Superintendent Ralph Moore received a call from the Huron County Sheriff’s Office letting him know a young seventh-grade girl no longer would be able to report to her classes.
By that time Icyss Moon’s family already had started to grieve her death.
The 9-1-1 call came from the girl’s Monroeville home, where she was found. Icyss was the “very caring” 13-year-old daughter of Reynaldo Alvarez, of Sandusky, and Dawn Moon, of Norwalk. It’s still not clear why, but the middle school student is believed to have taken her own life.
‘Devastated and heartbroken’
Her brother, David Scroggy, made a Facebook post on the night of her passing, asking the community for prayers despite “not typically (being) one for religion.” On Sunday, he wrote that he wasn’t sure how to express what his family was going through with the loss, but said he wanted the community to know the truth.
“I would like to thank everybody for reaching out to support me and my family at this very difficult time,” Sroggy said. “I'm not sure how else to say it, so I'm just going to be completely honest. My little sister, Icyss Moon, passed away yesterday from suicide. Me and my family are completely devastated and heartbroken. We love you Icyss and I hope to see you again someday.”
Lt. Bill Duncan later confirmed her death “is being investigated as a suicide” after talking with Huron County Coroner Dr. Jeffrey Harwood.
The coroner couldn’t be reached for comment.
Dawn Moon wrote on Facebook about the pain her family is experiencing and how she wished she had even just a little more time with her little girl.
“I don’t know if I’m ready to do this or not, but there (are) already a lot of posts floating around,” the girl’s mother wrote. “I’m getting a lot of calls, texts and msgs and I’m sorry, but I just don’t have it in me to talk right now. Yesterday my daughter Icyss passed away.
“Icyss and I had a crazy relationship. She was a rebel to the fullest, but she was amazing. So full of life, smart and wise beyond her time. I told her often how I swore she woke up every day thinking about how she could make me crazy that day. And she did make me crazy. But God knows I loved her with every single ounce of my being. And I know she loved me. I would give anything to hear her say ‘mommy’ or laugh her big infectious laugh one last time.”
Moon encouraged all families to take this time as a sober reminder and to learn from Icyss’ death not to take loved ones for granted.
“Please hug your babies,” she wrote. “Tell them you love them, make sure they know they can come to you always and for anything.”
Moon also asked people to be respectful in their posts and in what they’re saying about her daughter and the crisis the family is experiencing, noting the family is “hurting.”
“My family is heartbroken,” she added. “My child’s death isn’t a ‘FB post’ for likes or attention.”
Family and friends used the social media platform to express their condolences and support and share memories of the girl.
“I had a BIG talk with all my kids tonight (my 8th grade son & 6th grade daughter knew her, said she always seemed happy),” Nathan Schaffer wrote. “We said a prayer for her and for you & Reynaldo Alvarez for her at dinner. ... There’s no way I can imagine what you’re going through ... but, believe me, my heart is absolutely broken for you all.”
Ashley Marie Gaither, of Huron, described the Monroeville student as a bright girl.
“Icyss was a beautiful girl and could light up a room,” she said. “The world lost a beautiful soul.”
“I’m so, so sorry for your loss. I serve at the Chapel and always would hug (Icyss) and let her know that she was beautiful,” Susie Herman, of Norwalk, said in a Facebook post. “She was so sweet and I’m so heartbroken that she is gone. (emojis) I pray that God will wrap His loving arms around your family.”
’No evidence’ of bullying
Duncan said the incident happened in the home. Due to the “very private and very sad” nature of the incident, he declined to comment further on the cause of death or how the family came to know of Icyss’ passing.
“There’s no indication of foul play,” he said.
Duncan said in a typical suicide investigation, particularly when it involves a young person, the sheriff’s office does an in-depth search for what caused the person to go to such extreme and unfortunately drastic measures.
“We investigate the persons who were in contact with the deceased leading up to the suicide and we look into any social media presence that may have contributed to their actions,” he said. “We are looking for answers too. We’re looking what caused this.”
Duncan said there’s still no known cause for what led the 13-year-old to have taken her life, adding that bullying, as of yet in the investigation, doesn’t seem to be a contributing factor.
“There was no bullying that I’m aware of,” he said. “That’s always a concern when you have someone her age. That’s something that we will look into further. Right now there’s no evidence that that was going on.”
Attempt to prevent suicide
Death is hardest for those left behind.
To help students and staff cope with the loss, Moore said the district brought in counselors from surrounding districts to be available for students and staff.
Duncan said the sheriff’s office had the school resource officer, Deputy Mitchel Cawrse, at the school Monday as well to offer support and to aid in the ongoing investigation.
This isn’t the county’s first encounter with the bitter taste of losing a child to suicide. One such instance which was felt throughout the county was when Caleb Hershiser, of Willard, took his own life April 2, 2017 at the age of 14.
Ironically, Caleb’s mother Anna Hershiser visited Monroeville Local Schools in October, encouraging students to talk, “speak up and be kind to others” in order to avoid suicide.
During the assembly in the Monroeville Athletic Complex, the Willard mother had senior and junior high students close their eyes and put their hands over their heart.
“It’s not just a heartbeat; it’s a purpose,” said Hershiser,
Afterward, high school Principal Jim Kaczor encouraged students to talk to a friend, parent, coach or teacher if they are having thoughts of suicide. He also stressed they should know plenty of people love and care for them.
Funeral arrangements for Icyss Moon haven’t been announced yet.
Anyone who needs help or support or knows of someone who could use mental-health assistance — whether in a crisis situation or not — can call Mental Health Addiction Services free at 419-668-8649.
The national suicide hotline is 1-800-826-1306. Those seeking support or who are contemplating suicide can anonymously text “4hope” to 741741 and should receive a response within five minutes.