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Amish girl's death appears accidental, sheriff says

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 6:03 PM EST, Tue December 20, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Racher Yoder, 15, was shot while inside a horse-drawn buggy
  • A neighbor told authorities he fired his weapon while cleaning it
  • No charges have been filed

(CNN) -- The shooting death of a 15-year-old Amish girl in east-central Ohio last week is likely to be ruled an accident, Holmes County Sheriff Timothy Zimmerly said on Tuesday.

Racher Yoder, 15, was shot while inside a horse-drawn buggy on her way home.

It appears she was struck by a stray bullet, Zimmerly said. A neighbor told authorities he fired his weapon while cleaning it, and the sheriff believes that bullet hit the girl.

Still, an official ruling is pending the results of a ballistics report, Zimmerly said.

No charges have been filed.

CNN affiliate WOIO reported that Yoder was on her way back from a Christmas party when she was shot. She managed to stay in the buggy until it neared her home, at which point she fell out, WOIO said. The victim's brother found Yoder on the ground, it said.

She was transferred to Akron City Hospital and died Friday afternoon, the network reported.

CNN's Phil Cantor contributed to this report.

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