Ben Moussa Keita, 18, was reported missing by his family in November. His body wasn’t found until January hanging from a “very high tree branch,” according to The New York Post.
His death was originally ruled a suicide, but has been recategorized as “undetermined” given an autopsy, making many suspicious of if he was lynched. “Originally the manner of death in this case was classified as suicide,” associate medical examiner Stanley Adams wrote. “Although at autopsy I did not see any evidence of trauma beyond the evidence of hanging, the circumstances of the very high tree branch, uncertain location of the decedent for the 6 weeks prior to discovery (with a report that the area where the body was found had been previously searched), and lack of any reported suicidal ideation or attempts makes a definitive classification of the manner as suicide uncertain.”
On top of the questions raised by Adams, the rope that was used to hang Keita was tied to a branch about 50 feet high and his feet were an entire eight feet above the ground.
The public is being asked to come up with any information possible into Keita’s death.
“We want a comprehensive, federal investigation that helps the family and the community find answers as to what led to this man’s death,”Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said. “We’re also asking for the public to come forward about any circumstances or information they may have. We really need the public’s help.”
According to Keita’s father, the young man didn’t have a history of depression or any other mental health issues that could’ve played a role in his suicide.