The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said on Tuesday that the victim was found dead in Ehrhardt’s parking lot at Elementary School in Spring, Tex., Which is just north of Houston.
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“Based on security footage, witnesses and other evidence, the first indications are that the male hanged himself,” the sheriff’s office said on Twitter.
“There are currently no signs of cheating,” he added. An official cause of death has yet to be determined, pending an autopsy.
In California, Malcolm Harsch, 38, a black man, was found hanged on a tree on May 31 in Victorville. Just 72 kilometers away, in Palmdale, the body of 24-year-old Robert Fuller was discovered on June 10, also hung on a tree.
A day before Fuller was found, Dominique Alexandre, 27, was similarly discovered in Fort Tyron Park in upper Manhattan. The New York City medical examiner’s office concluded Alexander died was a suicide on Monday, local media reported.
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The families of Fuller and Harsch challenged officials’ initial findings that the act of foul play was not suspected, urging both the Sheriff’s Office to vow to continue their investigations as the potential for homicide.
The US FBI attorney’s office in the Central District of California and the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division are also following up on these investigations, authorities said in a statement on Monday.
In Fuller, the Los Angeles County of the coroner’s chief medical examiner withdrew his original suicide decision, pending the ongoing investigation.
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“The initial report appeared to be compatible with suicide, but we deemed it prudent to roll that from behind and to continue to look further, Dr. Jonathan Lucas said at a press conference on Monday.
Protesters against police brutality and the deaths of black Americans such as George Floyd have also taken Fuller and Harsch cases, to express concerns that the two may have been lynched, and that authorities have rushed to trial.
Fuller’s family affirmed their belief that he was not suicidal. Days before his death, he attended a Black Lives Protest issue, the Los Angeles Times reported.
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The family’s Harsch said in a statement released to local media on Saturday that they had suspicions about a possible suicide decision, “amid the current racial tension.”
“A black man hanging himself from a tree certainly does not sit well with us,” the family said. “We want justice, not for excuses.”
The family’s Alexander said local media that they are grieving for his death and had no comments on the medical examiner’s decision.
—With Associated Press files
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In an emergency, call 911 for immediate assistance.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts, Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868, and the Trevor Project all offer ways to get help if you, or someone one you know can have mental health issues.
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