Special Needs Student Found Dead on Empty School Bus

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Los Angeles, CA

A 19-year-old special needs high school student was found unresponsive and pronounced dead on a school bus in Whittier on Friday.

Hun Joon Lee’s death is being treated by police as suspicious according to the Los Angeles Times. “Nothing that we’ve learned so far would lead us to believe he had any medical conditions,” Brad White, a spokesman for the Whittier Police Department reportedly said.

There were no signs of trauma on Lee’s body, and no weapons were found at the scene. Police pronounced him dead about 10 minutes after 4:23 p.m. which is when authorities arrived at the Sierra Education Center and carried out unsuccessful CPR attempts. The center, which Lee attended, reportedly has a transition program dedicated to adult students with special needs like Lee.

Lee often took the bus home from school around 2:30 p.m. and arrived home around 4. But when he failed to show up on Friday, his mother called the school, which then contacted the bus company. The bus driver reportedly found Lee’s body slumped in the aisle of the parked bus, the Times notes.

No arrests have been made so far although an investigation is underway.

Meanwhile, Whittier Union High School District Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson issued a written statement of condolence which read “Our hearts are with our student’s parents and family — we’re all grieving.” She said the school’s counseling services and staff are being made available to Lee’s family, students and staff who were close to the young adult.

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