Hanging of young Muslim prompts calls for Federal Bureau of Investigation probe

Darin HammondMar 06, 2017

The FBI has said it is reviewing the death of a Muslim teen found hanging in the Washington woods after medical examiners determined he may not have committed suicide.

In changing the ruling the examiner noted that Keita had no history of depression or suicidal ideation, that the rope which asphyxiated him was strung unusually high - nearly 50 feet off the ground - and that the area where his body was discovered had been recently searched by a canine unit before his body was discovered.

Keita's father, Ibrahima Keita, said his son had "no history of depression" or "any psychological break down at all".

The Jan, 26 autopsy report says no alcohol or drugs were found in Keita's body, and it bore no signs of trauma beyond the evidence of hanging. News stories about his death and the police investigation went viral this week - two months after he was found. He had initially been reported missing on November 26.

"We don't track their schedule, and the community college doesn't do family notifications when a student turns 18 because they're an adult", Lake Stevens school spokeswoman Jayme Taylor said. In one part, it cites the office's death investigator as estimating the branch was 50 feet high.

The investigation into the death is continuing, police said.

FBI investigators had agreed to review the case after a request from the teenager's family, who said he had no history of depression or anxiety and seemed happy before his disappearance.

"Today we are careful not to rush to judgment".

Keita's family is asking anyone with information in the case to come forward. He also insisted Ben was a "happy young man" who had big plans for the future.

"There are many things that we want to find out about", he said.

The case was closed a week ago, but Seattle police say that they are communicating with partners to ensure that a thorough investigation is made into the young man's death.

"Our review is providing additional investigators to consider the situation and ensure that LSPD has covered all appropriate leads", Federal Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich-Williams told CNN.

In a news release Thursday, the Lake Stevens Police Department said, "Early in the investigation we discovered that, unknown to the family, Ben did not go to work on November 25 or 26, and had not been to school for about three weeks".

The FBI will be reviewing the hanging death of a black, Muslim teen, following please made by the child's family.

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