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Questions, criticisms follow in the wake of Adriana Davidson’s death

An online petition has received nearly 7,000 signatures as organizers criticize police agencies for their handling of the disappearance and death of Adriana Davidson, a 15-year-old Ann Arbor Pioneer High School student.

Davidson was found dead Monday afternoon on the grounds of the high school, more than two days after her disappearance had been reported to authorities.

The Change.org petition, which appears to have been created by a classmate of Davidson, is highly critical of Ann Arbor Police and Pioneer High School officials for their handling of her disappearance.

“Addy’s death illustrates a poor job from both the Ann Arbor Public School district and the Ann Arbor Police Department,” states the petition. “The AAPD were aware of the fact that Addy was last seen on Pioneer High School campus and found her phone there as well, but didn’t conduct a single search for her until 3 days after. It turned out that Addy had been not far from where her phone was left, and was on Pioneer campus.”

Davidson’s family say they last heard from her at about 9 a.m. Friday, while friends of the Scio Township teen said they last saw her around 11 a.m. that same day outside Pioneer High School.

While her family reported her missing early Saturday morning, her body wasn’t discovered until Monday afternoon, reportedly underneath the bleachers.

Both the Ann Arbor Police, which is handling the investigation of her death, and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating her disappearance, say foul play does not appear to be involved.

“We know there’s a lot of unanswered questions, as well as a lot of misinformation about the death of Adriana Davidson being shared on social media,” said Ann Arbor Police in a statement Tuesday. “The family and the community deserve answers, and we will be transparent about what happened as our investigation unfolds. While Adriana’s death is tragic — right now, we are not currently searching for anyone else who may be involved in her death, and there is NO threat to the community. After reviewing security video from the school, we believe Adriana was alone when she died.”

The sheriff’s office also issued a statement in light of the criticism.

“We know that in the absence of facts, myths can emerge and with such a tragic situation those myths can begin to cause considerable harm,” the office said. “Parents become fearful to send their students to school based on unverified rumors, family members continue to be victimized from the constant barrage of inaccurate assumptions, and the integrity of an investigation can be threatened. We understand the need to make sense of such a senseless tragedy and the need for factual information to be delivered in a timely and accurate manner. However, we have a responsibility to protect the privacy of Adriana and her family, and we are committed to maintaining the integrity of the investigation.”

An autopsy was conducted by the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner, although results were not immediately released.

Meanwhile, the online petition says changes are needed to address student mental health issues.

“Addy’s death is also one of 2 deaths of Pioneer High School students during school hours since students returned post-pandemic,” it states. “Having 2 deaths during school hours truly indicates an issue. However, Pioneer High School administration did not recognize this issue. Last year in May, Alexander Walker of Pioneer High School, tragically drowned after jumping off a railroad bridge into the Huron River in Ann Arbor with two other groups of high schoolers during school hours. After his death, students received condolences from school counselors and administrators, and then no change was made. Students are still able to freely roam the school and leave whenever they would like without reason. If Pioneer High School administration had recognized this issue after the death of Alex, Addy’s death could’ve also been prevented.”

Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Jeanice Kerr Swift issued a statement Tuesday and said district officials began working with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office immediately after Davidson was reported missing and continued to do so through the weekend.

“We all are mourning the loss of Addy and know this pain sometimes leads to the spreading of misinformation and rumors that are not based in fact,” said Swift. “We should not lose focus on the tragic loss of young Addy. This is an important time for our AAPS community to come together, to focus on the support of Addy’s family and to ensure the ongoing support of all our Pioneer students, staff, and our Ann Arbor community.”

A GoFundMe page has also been created to help the family pay for funeral and other expenses.

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