MANTORVILLE, Minn. - Rick Ehmke still can't grasp that his daughter Rachel is gone. What he's beginning to realize, though, is just how much his little girl was hurting before she took her life.
"I went from being mad to being even sadder. It just, for me, cemented in my head how bad it really was," said Ehmke of the anonymous text that went out to other students saying derogatory things about Rachel.
The 13-year-old student at Kasson-Mantorville Middle School committed suicide last month, one day after receiving a derogatory text message.
On Wednesday, The Dodge County sheriff's office said the message was sent from her father's home. A fact Ehmke said broke his heart.
"A 13-year-old kid sent this thing out there to people to get I don't know whose attention. Everybody's attention to say 'look, I'm getting out of this school and this is going to help me do it, so I'm going to do it,'" said Ehmke.
He thinks Rachel got scared when authorities started investigating the text and that perhaps it all became too much. Ehmke said he's speaking out not to point fingers or place blame, but to find an answer so this doesn't happen to any other family.
As for the students who allegedly harassed his daughter? He wishes no punishment there either.
"They know who they were and they're going to feel this their whole life," said Ehmke.
Suicide may have ended Rachel's young life but Rick wants everyone to know it could have been prevented..
"This incident, what killed my daughter, I'll go to my grave, it was bullying," said Ehmke.
The sheriff's office released the information after some students in Ehmke's school and their parents were being harassed and blamed for sending the text. They wanted to clear it up for the community so speculation would stop.
The sheriff's office said that "harassment and bullying were likely factors" in Rachel Ehmke's death.
Investigators said they found no specific incident or action by any particular student they believe is responsible for the seventh-grader's death. Because of that, the county attorney's office decided there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone.
On Wednesday, Superintendent Mark Matuska said he didn't want to comment on the latest news but that the district's thoughts and prayers were with the Ehmke family.
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