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Suicide at Echo Glen spurs $2M lawsuit

SNOQUALMIE - The state is being sued for $2 million by the family of a teen-age girl who hanged herself at the Echo Glen juvenile detention center two months ago.

Angela Miller, 17, of Riverside in Okanogan County, was known to be suicidal and should have been constantly monitored by staff members at the children's center near Snoqualmie, her family claims in a civil suit filed recently by Seattle attorney Tim Tesh.

Cheryl Stephani, assistant secretary of juvenile rehabilitation, would not comment further on the litigation, but said the department would wait to see the result of internal and external investigations into the death before deciding on procedural changes.

Miller's death is the second hanging suicide in three years at the facility and the third since 1991. When 14-year-old Ashley Shaddox hanged herself in 1998, her family's lawyer said she, too, had made an earlier attempt on her life.

Tesh said Miller's family wants to ensure procedures at Echo Glen are changed to prevent future tragedies.

The suit seeks $1 million for Miller's mother, Christina Gonzales, for the "loss of her daughter's love and affection,'' and a further $1 million for Miller's estate. Her legal guardian is Carlotta Duarte, her grandmother.

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