As Emilie Olsen’s parents prepare to lay her to rest Friday, police reports related to the 13-year-old’s passing revealed more details about the tragedy.
The Journal-News requested all Fairfield Twp. police reports relating to the investigation of Emilie’s death. The reports indicate that she had tried to harm herself in the past. The reports also state there was no definitive proof of bullying.
Superintendent Paul Otten released a letter to parents stating the entire community mourns Emilie’s passing, but that much of the negative feeling that has resulted is based on false rumors.
“We all share in this loss. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with each of you as we seek to cope with the sudden passing of one of our own,” Otten wrote.
On the day of her death, Dec. 11, Emilie’s father, Marc Olsen, told police that Emilie had been suffering from depression and had a history of cutting herself. The Saturday before her death, Emilie had gone to a gun range and was “very curious” about the gun, her father told police. Olsen told police he kept rounds locked up in the house and speculated Emilie may have taken a round at the range.
Upon accessing Emilie’s cell phone, police found that she left “several messages to her friends saying her goodbyes at that time. She never mentions in the notes that her intention was for suicide but did imply this was her goodbye to them.” All the notes were dated Dec. 6. One note in a messenger did say Emilie “had planned on suicide,” according to the report.
When police followed up with Fairfield Middle School Principal Lincoln Butts, he stated that Olsen “at no time … reported any bullying to him or any other school officials last year.”
Otten wrote in his letter that the police investigation “did not find any credible evidence that bullying was a factor in this tragedy. Our teachers and administrators work daily to teach all students positive behavior and to combat bullying … this certainly does not mean there is no bullying in our schools. It would be foolish to believe that. It simply means we work very hard to properly address it when we are aware of it.”
Marc Olsen has said that bullying happened the previous year at Fairfield Intermediate School and that was dealt with, but the bullying continued this year at the middle school.
On social media, the district and the police have been criticized for visiting the Olsens, supposedly to silence them. Principal Butts did visit the house with Fairfield police officers on Tuesday.
The police report states: “Both parents stated all they wanted was the truth. We were trying to advise them many rumors were being told to them and to please stop listening to said rumors. We attempted to advise them what some of our investigation had uncovered, they stated to us if it was about her not being bullied, they weren’t going to listen. We were then asked to leave.”
The police investigation has been closed.
When reached by phone Thursday, Marc Olsen told this newspaper that he had no further comment at this time.
A Fairfield High School student who spoke to the Journal-News this week reported that the district took down anti-bullying posters and had been denied a chance to hold a moment of silence. Fairfield spokeswoman Gina Gentry-Fletcher said the posters were removed “because they refer to the deceased student as having been bullied and that information is unsubstantiated.”
“High School Principal Billy Smith allowed a moment of silence during the afternoon televised announcements and students who expressed an interest in participating stood behind Mr. Smith during the moment of silence,” Gentry-Fletcher said.
“The Olsen family needs our support and positive thoughts,” Otten wrote. “Her friends, school-mates, and teachers need our support as well. That is where our focus should be.”
A gathering for family and friends will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Community Christian Church. A memorial service will follow at 7 p.m. The family suggests contributions be made in her name to the Community Christian Church, 3401 Milikin Road, Hamilton, Ohio 45011.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.