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Family, Friends Coping With Grief After 17-Year-Old's Sudden Death

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BUTLER (KDKA) -- They were best friends, but Haile Slupe says Brianne Rapp, 17, was more like a sister to her.

"It's still hard to believe my best friend is not here no more," Hailie Slupe said.

The Butler Area Senior High School junior unexpectedly died while getting ready for school Friday morning.

"I was at her house every weekend. I'd go hang out. I'd text her mom and surprise her," Slupe said.

brianne rapp
(Photo Courtesy: Family)

Brianne's dad, Michael, said he got a frantic call from his daughter's mom early Friday.

"She was hysterical on the phone and she told me she was gone. I thought maybe she ran away or something. I didn't realize she meant she passed away," Michael Rapp said.

Michael said Brianne was in the shower getting ready for school. Her mom was still sleeping.

"We're thinking she blacked out in the bathtub and fell and hit her head and was found by my ex," Rapp said. "We don't know if maybe hair clogged the drain but the tub overflowed."

Michael said Brianne had a thyroid problem and was on medicine for it. He said she's blacked out a few times before so he's not sure if she just slipped and fell or blacked out.

The coroner has not yet released the official cause of death.

"I'll miss her smiling face and her great personality and wanting the best out of life," Rapp said. "Her mother and I are so proud to have raised a girl that people have so many nice things to say."

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with funeral expenses:

The family is also planning a spaghetti dinner at Smokin' Toad's BBQ in Sarver on Monday, June 11 at 6 p.m. to help with costs.

A viewing will take place Tuesday at Thompson-Miller Funeral Home in Butler from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at Hill United Presbyterian Church at 3 p.m.

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