'Huffing' Claims Lives of Two SoCal Teens

Photo (adapted): Paul Cheek/Flickr/Creative Commons License

An autopsy was pending today on a 14-year-old Porter Ranch girl found dead in her home after she sniffed the gas from can of computer cleaning spray.

Aria Doherty was pronounced dead Monday and was due to be examined in the next couple of days, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

Doherty, an eighth-grade honors student at Alfred B. Nobel Charter Middle School in Northridge, had apparently been using the cleaning spray to get high from its vapors, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. The practice is known as huffing and can involve anything from household cleaners to refrigerants.

Just last week a 12-year-old Victorville girl died after huffing refrigerant from an air conditioner. She's scheduled to be buried today.

The Los Angeles Unified School District sent counselors to Doherty's school on Wednesday to speak with students about the dangers of huffing and to offer consolation to those grieving Doherty's death, the Daily News reported. Doherty's grief-stricken parents spoke to television reporters Wednesday, saying they had talked with their daughter about drug abuse but had no indication she had ever used inhalants.

Richard and Carolyn Doherty said they hoped Aria's death would serve as a warning to other parents about the dangers of huffing.

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