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17-Year-Old Dies After Seemingly Falling in Shower and Drowning When Hair Blocks Drain

A Pennsylvania family is mourning the loss of their 17-year-old daughter, who died tragically on Friday while getting ready for school. 

Brianne “Bri” Marie Rapp was found dead by her mother in the bathroom of their family home, CBS Pittsburgh reported.

The teen’s hair was reportedly caught in the tub’s overflowing drain, something Brianne’s father Mike Rapp told the station he believed happened when his daughter fell in the shower.

“We’re thinking she blacked out in the bathtub and fell and hit her head,” Mike told CBS Pittsburgh, adding that Brianne was on medication for a thyroid condition that had caused her to pass out in the past — though he wasn’t sure if she had slipped either. “We don’t know if maybe hair clogged the drain but the tub overflowed.”

Brianne’s mom Kimberly Shultz frantically called Mike, who lives at a separate residence, to tell him about what happened, Mike told the outlet.

“She was hysterical on the phone and she told me she was gone. I thought maybe she ran away or something. I didn’t realize she meant she passed away,” Mike said.

An official cause of death has not yet been released by the county coroner, who told PEOPLE that they are still investigating the case with standard toxicology tests still pending.

But Deputy Coroner Larry Barr told the Butler Eagle the likely cause of death was drowning.

Authorities from the Butler Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment, but they also told the paper that Brianne’s death was not considered suspicious. They said they believed Brianne fell in the shower around 6:45 a.m. local time.

Brianne’s parents have set up a GoFundMe in their daughter’s honor to help cover funeral costs and other bills. As of Tuesday, it had surpassed its goal. The remaining money will be used to set up a college trust fund for Brianne’s brother Tyler, 12, and sister Maddy, 4, according to an update provided on the page, Sunday.

“My daughter was the heart and soul to so many of her friends,” Mike, who was paralyzed in a freak accident two months ago, wrote. “She always put everyone else first. I, her father and Kimberly, her mother would like to put our daughter first for once to say our final goodbyes! Thank you for all who helps out it is greatly appreciated!”

Funeral arrangements have been set, with a visitation on Tuesday at Thompson-Miller Funeral Home and a funeral on Wednesday at Hill United Presbyterian Church, The Butler Eagle reported.



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