Lily Soto | Photo: GoFundMe

A McHenry family is in mourning after an 11-year-old girl was found dead after hanging herself last week. Police told the family they believe it was because she was bullied.

Lilyana Isis Soto, 11, of McHenry, was found dead by her younger brother in the garage of her family’s home after she hung herself last week.

“Our family is devastated… There are no words of solace that can repair the pain to our hearts right now. There was no warning and no signs,” the Soto family said in a GoFundMe page.

“We are besides ourselves in grief. Her father will not leave the garage.”

Lily and her younger brother | Photo: GoFundMe

Police told the family that they believe Lily was bullied, according to a GoFundMe post by the family. “Her smile brightened every room. She was a super smart little girl. Loved her family,” the Soto family said.

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Lily was in sixth grade at McHenry Middle School.

“The loss of a young life is tragic and devastating. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to her family and friends and the entire community. District 15 will be offering supports for students and staff beginning tomorrow and continuing as long as needed,” District 15 officials said.

A visitation was held on Thursday in McHenry and a funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Friday at The Church of Holy Apostles in McHenry.

A GoFundMe to raise money for funeral and counseling costs has raised over $15,000 as of Friday.

21 replies on “Family in shock after 11-year-old McHenry girl kills herself”

  1. The TRUTH is that very few teachers have the courage to stop bullying when they see it. They worry that they’ll either be ‘disliked’ by their OH-so-popular mean girl students — or that the brats’ parents will cause issues for them (which is probably true).
    The police need to investigate who the bullies were — and they need to be CHARGED with MANSLAUGHTER.
    Middle school kids are horrid little beasts — and their “parents” are to blame.

  2. It’s a shame, students that may witness it don’t want to turn in the Bully for many reasons. Some Teachers don’t always handle the situation properly. Some Principals don’t handle it properly and I’ve heard that sometimes the victim gets repremanded too. Parents and schools need to get a handle on this. Ask your kids how their day was, how a playdate or hangout went. Get your child from an early age to discuss everything with you. Ask your children questions, teach them when they’re young about peer pressure, bullying and also important about inproper touching by anybody is wrong… Pay attention to the friends they are hanging around. Meet their parents.

    1. From the time my son started school,every day when he came home from school, I would ask him, “What was the best part of your day, and what was the worst?”. Most of the time it was minor things, good and bad. But it developed a loving, trusting relationship with him, and he always had something to share with me at the end of the day. I remember when he was in middle school when he came home and burst into tears. His teacher was bullying him! And he has always been respectful towards adults. I was glad that he told me right away so I could put a stop to it! He will turn 40 next month, and we still have a loving, open relationship where he shares his life with me, good or bad.

  3. Emily, I am so sorry for the loss your family has suffered. May God give you all the strength to get thru this trying time. Prayers for your family.

  4. This reporting is highly irresponsible. First, the method of dying is never to be published as it may start a contagion effect. Secondly, she did not kill herself, she died by suicide is the correct term. We must be so diligent and vigilant in reporting these stories so that other children don’t think there is glory in this. Please clean up your reporting.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire family and community. I really hope that the school does some serious triage of the that others know what to do if they’re feeling depressed. For a child to hang herself at this young age is a very very brazen and serious call to action.

    1. “Please aid in sweeping this under the rug so the careless people in this society don’t have to take actual effort in trying to stop these tragedies”. Drop the prepared-statement type comment and say what is truly mean by what you said. Your comment screams, “make way for the self-promoting opportunists”.

      Also, suicide and killing one’s self is the same thing. Just because it’s *current year* no one has the right to muddy up definitions. Your privilege doesn’t give anyone the right to tell writers how to report tragedies.

      The contagion effect is a myth. Take your self-marketing and passive degrading of students you see as broken. The community can go f itself since they likely contributed to this girl’s state of mind. As for her school, they’ll have people much like yourself, “guidance counselor” types to glaze over the situation and prevent it from hurting the school’s image. The call to action should have happened before a tragedy, not after. Calls to action after the fact are little more than efforts to save face and everyone knows it.

      1. Thank you for your excellent reply to Katey. Your reply was much kinder than mine, so I erased it. I hope there is no one like her handling the “serious triage” in this community.
        My heart goes out to this family that is hurting so deeply. Especially the little brother who found his sister. That image has to be burned into his little brain. I hope all of our prayers can bring some peace and comfort to this family.

  5. Dearest Emily, I am without words really but I wish I could give you and your family a big hug. I am so sorry this happened to your cousin. She was a very beautiful girl . Bullying is never ok.. ever… and these schools need to do something and FAST.. too many are being bullied and do not know what to do.. because even when they DO report it.. nothing ever happens to the bully… and if there is some kind of reprimand, the person who turned them in sometimes might get in trouble as well and that is so very wrong. Healing thoughts and love to you and your family .. my heart is breaking for you.

  6. Lily I new you for years and you where the type who would NEVER do that! I am still sad your locker was by me and you where in my class. Kandace Popejoy,Me,Gianna Thorne, and the rest of all your friends and family will miss you. You could of talk to me and I know why. Those eighth graders are mean you shouldn’t listen to them. I didn’t have the guts to tell you I liked you too. I knew Mikey already was dating you. We miss and love you Lily Soto. You will always be in my heart. MMS MISSES YOU. THE SCHOOL MISS YOU.
    Love your friend,
    LaMichael Wade

    1. Emily, are you okay? I happened across this comment and I know it was many months ago. Are you okay?

  7. Lily was on my team, in all my core classes. I wanted to be her friend. She seemed like a nice person so i tried talking with her, but it was awkward. I decided to just stick with saying hi or hello, instead of actual conversation’s. Then i heard what she did and i never got to talk to her agian. I still have trouble here and there when i think about lily.

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