Sudden In-Flight Death of 8-Year-Old, Autopsy Results Revealed

The sudden death of an 8-year-old Missouri girl on a flight to Chicago remains a mystery as initial autopsy results proved inconclusive, according to officials. Sydney Weston was traveling with her family from Joplin, Missouri, to Chicago for a vacation when she experienced an unidentified medical emergency mid-flight and became unresponsive.

The severity of Sydney’s condition led the pilot of SkyWest Flight 5121 to declare an onboard medical emergency. The plane was subsequently diverted and made an emergency landing at General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport in Illinois around 7 a.m. on Thursday.

Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood stated that there were no indications of abuse or neglect on the child’s body, and no signs of foul play were found, as reported by local media outlet WGN. The cause of Sydney’s sudden illness and subsequent death remains unknown.

Harwood explained that further tests, including histology, biopsies, cultures, blood hematology and chemistry, and toxicology testing, are still pending. These tests typically take between four to six weeks to yield results.

Harwood expressed hope that these tests would provide a definitive cause of death for Sydney, offering her grieving family some much-needed answers. The coroner’s office is committed to uncovering the exact circumstances surrounding the young girl’s tragic death.

After the emergency landing, paramedics rushed Sydney to OSF Healthcare Saint Francis Medical Center. Despite aggressive resuscitative efforts, she was pronounced dead at the hospital.