HOPKINTON, Mass. — A Massachusetts medical examiner’s office has ruled that Mikayla Miller, a Black teenager whose body was found near her home in a Boston suburb last month, died by suicide.
On Tuesday, the Hopkinton Town Clerk’s Office received notification from the medical examiner’s office and issued Miller’s death certificate, which listed her death as “asphixia by hanging” and the manner of death as suicide.
Miller, 16, was found dead on April 18 in a wooded area by a jogger roughly a mile from her home in Hopkinton. The Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office had previously said the death was not suspicious
But an online social media campaign and Miller’s mother, Calvina Strothers, and a Boston activist group, Violence in Boston, differed. They said Miller was jumped by five teens the night before her body was found.
They also claim Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan’s office is not conducting a thorough investigation. They have called for Ryan’s resignation.
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Ryan, in a press conference on May 4, denied claims that her office was not investigating the case. She said investigators had questioned several witnesses, including the teens who were allegedly involved in a fight with Miller on April 17.
Ryan said Miller got into a fight with one teenage boy and one teenage girl. Ryan also said all five teens who were present that night were not in the area where Miller’s body was found, based on witness, video and electronic evidence.
During a rally that drew several hundred people on May 6 in downtown Hopkinton, Stothers said: “Given everything that has transpired over the past few weeks, I want to make sure that I am clear about my goals in all of this: It’s to have full transparency and get justice for my daughter.”
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Another rally is scheduled for Friday at the district attorney’s Lowell office.
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Strothers could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. Monica Cannon-Grant, of Violence in Boston, also could not be immediately reached.
However, on Tuesday, in an online talk show called “Java With Jimmy,” Cannon-Grant said an independent autopsy has been completed and she plans to release its results on Thursday.
Cannon-Grant also claimed Ryan’s office leaked information to a news source about criminal charges filed last year against Strothers for allegedly striking Miller. Cannon-Grant said the charges are expected to be dropped in July.
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Ryan, in a statement on Tuesday, said her office has spoken to the attorney of Miller’s family about the ruling, but did not say what that conversation entailed.
“This ruling addresses the manner and means of Mikayla’s death,” said Ryan. “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.”
If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time day or night, or chat online.
Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has resources to help if you need to find support for yourself or a loved one.
Follow Norman Miller on Twitter @Norman_MillerMW.