The Death of Ben M. Keita Changed From "Suicide" to "Undetermined"
18-year-old Ben M. Keita was reported missing last November by his parents, which would scare and frighten anyone who loves their child. They would have even worst news when it came out that police found the child’s body hanging from a tree in the woods of Lake Stevens, Washington in January. Originally ruled a suicide by investigators, medical examiner’s changed their own ruling from “suicide” to “undetermined”.
“[He had] no history of depression, anxiety, any psychological breakdown at all, so he was a very… happy young man,” Keita’s father, Ibrahima, said, according to KIRO 7, a local television station. An “undetermined” cause of death means that there is “little available information about the circumstances surrounding [the death] or where known information equally supports, or conflicts with, more than one manner or death,” the Snohomish medical examiner’s website explains.
According to Washington CAIR, Keita was found hanging from a rope tied 50 feet high in a tree. The area where he was found was searched at least twice by police before his body was finally discovered. It was those two reasons why the medical examiner changed the manner of death. He was also found within 12 feet of a home, and he was discovered by a group of teens who were just passing through the area.
“He was planning to graduate this year from Lake Stevens High School,” his father said at a press conference hosted by the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). “He was already in the Running Start program at Everett Community College and he was dreaming of becoming a medical doctor and work as a medical examiner. Now those dreams are over,” his father added.
The FBI may be brought in to review the case, according to KIRO 7, saying in a statement, “We are aware of circumstances of the individual’s death and will review them with consideration of federal law. If warranted, we may conduct further investigation. A review does not necessarily result in the opening of an investigation.”
Meanwhile, the Lake Stevens police have already closed the cast last week.
The Keita family is asking the public to come forward with any information that might help the investigation.
H/T: Seattle Patch