Mikayla Miller's Death In Hopkinton Ruled A Suicide By Medical Examiner
HOPKINTON (CBS) – The death of Hopkinton teen Mikayla Miller has been ruled a suicide. The Medical Examiner said the cause of death was "asphyxia by hanging."
The 16-year-old was found dead April 18 in the woods off West Main Street near her home. Just hours before her death, investigators said she was involved in a confrontation with five other teens.
Mikayla's mother, Calvina Strothers, accused police of not properly investigating the death. She publicly claimed on social media that authorities were covering up the murder of her daughter at the hands of other teens implying she'd been bullied because she was Black and gay.
That drew a vehement denial from Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan. "The idea that we would be not investigating bullying, or a murder as the allegation, is just not true," Ryan told WBZ earlier this month.
Two weeks ago, the DA ruled out the five teens involved in an altercation with Mikayla the day before her death citing proof none of them were near the scene.
At a vigil and rally days later, Strothers was joined by some community activists in calling for a completely independent probe.
"If they would not have immediately made a conclusion regarding my child's death, and did a proper investigation, or did any investigation initially at all, we wouldn't be here," Strothers said.
On Tuesday night, the DA reached out to the family again pledging to "explore every investigative angle" as to why Mikayla committed suicide and to make the results public, but Mikayla's mother doubled down on her accusations.
On Wednesday, she will be part of a virtual press conference alongside nationally known civil rights attorney Ben Crump whose recent high profile cases include the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The announcement of that event reads in part, "there is no way Mikayla could have killed herself."
On Friday, demonstrators plan to converge on the Middlesex DA's office and again demand this investigation be turned over to the feds.
Full Statement from Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan:
We have received notice that the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has ruled that Mikayla Miller died by suicide. We have been in conversation with her family's attorney regarding this development.
This ruling addresses the manner and means of Mikayla's death. However, our investigation into the events surrounding Mikayla's death remains active and ongoing. We will continue to explore every investigative angle necessary as we do that work and intend to issue a complete and thorough report at the conclusion of the investigation.
We will continue to be in contact with Mikayla's family's representatives moving forward and we are asking for continued patience as we perform this critically important work.
Please be intentional in checking on the mental health of your loved ones and the children in your communities. Nothing matters more. If you are thinking about harming yourself call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) if you are looking for resources please visit www.namimass.org
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