N.C. Teen Found Hanging From A Swing Set Was Lynched, His Family Believes

Human Rights

A North Carolina teen was found hanging from a swing set in the middle of a moble home community in Bladenboro, N.C., on August 29 and his death was ruled a suicide. The deceased teen's friends and family believe the boy was lynched because he dated a 32-year-old white woman, the New York Daily News reports

On Friday, the FBI opened an investigation into the death Lennon Lacy, 17, after his family questioned the initial medical examiner's report. 

“Someone killed him ‘cause he was dating an older white woman,” Justin Jones, 17, a friend of Lacy, told The News. 

Michelle Brimhall, the girlfriend, has gone into hiding since the boy's death. While local authorties don't consider her a suspect, the teen's family believes she may know more details about his death. It's not clear if investigators interviewed Brimhall before she went into hiding. 

Pierre Lacy, Lennon's brother, said the teen was threatened publicly and called the N-word for dating Brimhall. 

Claudia Lacy, the boy's mother, told CNN that the last time she saw her son was the evening of Aug. 28. The teen had asthma and his doctor recommended that he exercise during the evenings after the temperature and humidity drop. Lennon left home around 10:30 p.m. that night. He was never seen alive again. 

Before 7:30 that morning, the teen was founding hanging from a swing set in the middle of a mobile home community. His body was covered with fire ants, according to medical documents. 

Here is more from CNN:

Lennon's mother was called to the scene several hours later, after he'd been placed into a body bag.

"It was unreal. It was like a dream. It was like I was not seeing what I was seeing," Lacy says.

Immediately, Lacy believed her son's death was the result of some foul play.

"He didn't do this to himself," Lacy says.

She believes Lennon was lynched.

"He may have either been strangled somewhere else or been placed there or he was hung there while people were around watching him die," Lennon's older brother, Pierre Lacey says.

But North Carolina's Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Deborah Radisch declared his death a suicide. One of the reasons: she asked Lennon's mother if he had been depressed, and she told them that he was "upset" and "in mourning" over a relative's death. The medical examiner took that as a yes.

Local authorities are still investigating the boy’s death despite the coroner’s ruling but his family says it’s determined to keep seeking answers until someone can clearly explain how he died. 

"I take it one day at a time, Claudia Lacy, the boy’s mother, said. “That's all I can say."

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