Grief counseling provided after teen found dead


TAMAQUA, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WOLF) -- The coroner says an autopsy will be performed Thursday on a missing teenager who was found dead in the woods in Schuylkill County.

It turns out that this isn't the first tragedy this family has experienced. We spoke with people who knew the girl in Tamaqua.

For the soccer team at Tamaqua Area High School, word of 17-year-old Cassidy Derr's death comes as a shock..

"There's been girls that's been playing with her for like 12 years, since they were four or five years old. She was a great kid. It's very devastating,"says soccer coach Clem McCarroll.

Derr's coach says she kept playing even after her dad, Paul Derr, was pinned and killed while working on his van two years ago in Tamaqua.

"She's overcome so many obstacles in her life, but you'd never be able to tell that just by meeting her because she was just a happy kid, loved to play soccer," says McCarroll. "That was her and her dad's bond. That was their big thing, but she still carried on after he passed."

The superintendent says grief counselors were being made available at the high school on Wednesday morning for those students who knew Derr, who had attended here last year.

"They were putting out flyers and search parties and things like that were being formed, so we were aware of it as we came in and started our school year on Monday," says superintendent Ray Kinder. "She was certainly in our thoughts as we began the week."

"They were so close to her, we were all just praying that things worked out, but unfortunately it didn't go that way," says McCarroll.

Kinder says five counselors were in the library on Wednesday. Derr had moved to Lansford, where she would have started school on Monday, but never did.

On Saturday night into Sunday morning, coroner David Moylan says Derr disappeared after a party on the mountain in Schuylkill Township, and was found in a ravine on Wednesday evening.

She suffered from type I dibaetes, leaving people wondering if that played a role in her death. It didn't stop her from playing soccer for three years of high school.

"I actually asked her what do I have to do, do I have to know anything specific, and she said she had it pretty well handled," says McCarroll. "She had the pump and she she knew once she started feeling weird to come out, so she she was pretty mature about it and her dad said the same thing to me, they've been dealing with it since they were young."

"We knew cassidy from going in and out of the houses and saying hello and the kids were in school together," says former neighbor Michelle LeBar. "She was a typical bubbly teenager, always friendly."

Moylan says a CT scan was scheduled to be performed on Wednesday evening, ahead of Thursday's autopsy in Allentown. We're told Schuylkill Township police are also investigating.

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