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California girl, 11, dies hours after fight

LONG BEACH, Calif. - After getting her nose bloodied in a fight with another girl near their Southern California elementary school, 11-year-old Joanna Ramos told her mother on the way home she felt sick. Hours later, she was dead.

“We took her to the hospital but it was too late. She was in a coma,’’ Joanna’s mother, Cecilia Villanueva told KNBC-TV. Authorities have not released the girl’s name but Villanueva told KNBC the girl who died was her daughter, Joanna.

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Police spokeswoman Nancy Pratt urged caution about linking the fight to the girl’s death until a coroner’s report is released. Police, who have interviewed the other girl involved in the fight, were investigating and said that no arrests have been made.

The after-school fight near Willard Elementary did not appear especially serious or violent, no weapons were used, and neither girl was knocked to the ground, police said.

The Long Beach Press Telegram reported the fight was planned. Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Chris Steinhauser told the newspaper there was no indication that adults at the school, attended by about 800 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, were aware of the fight.

The students involved in the altercation left an after-school program and went to an alley near the school to fight.

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