Rietz: Centennial teen's death appears to be result of 'a medical issue'

Rietz: Centennial teen's death appears to be result of 'a medical issue'

CHAMPAIGN — Although police have not closed their investigation into the March death of a Centennial High School student, the county's top prosecutor said it appears his death was the result of a medical issue.

Appearing Tuesday on WDWS Radio's "A Penny For Your Thoughts," Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz said preliminary information about the March 11 death of Luke Miller, 15, is that there is nothing to suggest a crime occurred.

"I've not received any official reports, but I have been kept advised, and my understanding is we're waiting for final report from the medical examiner in St. Louis. Preliminary indications are this was a medical issue," Rietz said. "And I doubt very seriously, based on what I know, that this will be a criminal issue. We've not been given any indication that there is a suspect or there was an event that caused Luke Miller's death."

Champaign police have held off saying anything until they receive the final report from the St. Louis medical examiner, which is still not in hand.

Luke was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital on the morning of March 11 with injuries of such a nature that police were summoned to the hospital and launched an investigation. He was later transferred to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, where he died that night.

Police have investigated allegations Luke may have been beaten up in the days leading up to his death but, as Rietz said, have found no credible evidence to support that. His parents also said that did not happen.

However, they and friends of the teen have said he was bullied.

"There is no doubt that Luke was bullied, but to the extent of it causing his passing is yet to be determined," Heather Miller wrote in the April 9 News-Gazette.

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