Strep infection caused teen cheerleaders sudden death, autopsy shows Two months after a beloved 13 year old Kentucky girl mysteriously died following a cheerleading competition, an autopsy report revealed her cause of death was a strep infection. Eighth grader Lilliana Schalck began moments before she was set to perform at a cheerleading event in Columbus, Ky. She died a few hours later. The middle school students death shocked her family and friends and the cause remained a mystery for weeks. An autopsy report on Friday shows the girl had a widespread infection from group A strep, the same bacteria that causes strep throat. Group A strep is more common in children ages 5 to 15 and can cause a range of infections, from minor illnesses to deadly diseases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The agency that as many as 1,600 people die with invasive group A strep in the U.S. every year. Schalck was a student at Highlands Middle School in Fort Thomas, but she performed for the Highlands High School cheerleader squad. Her family confirmed the report in a statement to the media. Apparently, an underlying Strep infection overwhelmed her immune system with little or no warning, and catastrophic results, the statement reads. We knew this report was coming and honestly have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand it changes nothing for us. But, on the other hand, we wouldnt wish this nightmare on anyone and maybe this report might help prevent a similar outcome for someone else.