Autopsy of Hanged Teen Offers Few Answers

Lennon Lacy's family insists he didn't kill himself
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2014 9:35 AM CDT
Autopsy of Hanged Teen Offers Few Answers
Police say they have no evidence of foul play in the hanging death of North Carolina teen Lennon Lacy.   (ms vdo)

Lennon Lacy's autopsy report is out, but it does little to quell the sinister mystery surrounding the North Carolina teen's death. Lennon, 17, died from suffocation as a result of hanging, it says, adding that the dark abrasion circling his neck and the buckle mark under his ear were caused by the noose made of belts that was tied to the swing set where he was found in Bladenboro on Aug. 29. But the autopsy gives no clues as to how the high school junior got there, and Lennon's family still insists didn't kill himself. The autopsy report does, however, mention that Lennon had reportedly "been depressed over the recent death of his uncle," an inclusion the teen's brother says is suspicious. "An autopsy cannot determine whether a person was depressed—you can’t tell that from physical signs, so why was it put in the report?" Pierre Lacy tells the Guardian.

A NAACP lawyer working with the Lacy family agrees, saying suicide may have been presumed going into the autopsy, when "all our evidence suggests that Lennon was relieved that his great uncle had died after a long and painful illness, and that he was looking forward to his football game that night." Also odd: The autopsy report doesn't mention shoes among its list of the clothing he was found in (the family was told Lennon was found wearing white sneakers in the wrong size that relatives didn't recognize), nor does it mention a bump seen on Lennon's forehead by relatives and the funeral director. And no DNA swabs seem to have been taken to determine whether anyone else's DNA was present on Lennon's body. The family is considering exhuming the body to have an independent autopsy conducted, and the NAACP wants to talk to the chief medical examiner. Click for more on Lennon's death. (Read more North Carolina stories.)

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