Boy's Mother Considers Independent Autopsy

The mother of a 10-year-old boy who died after being found hanging on a coat hook in his school's bathroom on Tuesday said she is considering an independent autopsy.

The county medical examiner ruled Aquan Lewis' death a suicide, but Angel Marshall doesn't believe it. She claims she went into a similar bathroom stall at the school and said "there is no way he could have done this himself."

"He had every reason to live," Marshall said.

A lawyer for the family said he wants to know why the boy was alone so long that he died.

Evanston police continue to investigate Lewis' death. A spokesman said the medical examiner's ruling of suicide "is not going to impede our investigation."

At the same time, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Kendall Marlowe said someone phoned in a complaint against the boy's school, Oakton Elementary in Evanston.

Unnamed sources told the Chicago Sun-Times that Lewis told a teacher he wanted to kill himself, and the teacher may have passed that information to another staff member.

One of the sources alleged that school staff failed to take the threat seriously, the paper reported.

Marshall said that she's heard rumors that Lewis' fifth grade teacher had been hard on him and scolded him the day of his death, and that classmates had been messing with his homework.

Marlowe said the investigation should be finished within 60 days.

University of Illinois-Chicago psychologist Ron Davidson is teaming with state Rep. Mary Flowers to try -- for the eighth time -- to pass a law requiring that Illinois teachers receive training on suicide prevention.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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