Autopsy in softball death inconclusive

April 24, 2009 11:17:37 AM PDT
An autopsy performed on the body of a 14-year-old boy who died while playing softball is inconclusive, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. Maurice Davenport, 14, died during a softball game at Fernwood Park on the city's far South Side.

The Chicago Public Schools sponsored the softball game.

There is a possibility that Maurice Davenport may have been hit in the chest by the softball, but the Cook County medical examiner says they are not going to know the exact cause of death for another six to eight weeks. The medical examiner says further studies must be done.

Maurice Davenport couldn't wait to play on Garrett Morgan Elementary School's first softball team. A 14-year-old who loved sports, Davenport's first game was played on Wednesday afternoon.

Before leaving for the game, Maurice said goodbye to the woman who raised him, his aunt, Deborah Hatcher.

"I hugged him. I kissed him on the head. I usually don't kiss him on the head. I kissed him on his cheek. I kissed him on his head. I said you are still my little baby boy. He left here, went to play softball. That's the last time I seen him," said Hatcher.

Maurice was playing in the field when his family says he made a diving catch. Shortly afterwards, the 14-year-old collapsed and died an hour later at the hospital.

"Maurice is a person who was in church every Sunday. He wasn't in no gangs. He tried to live a right life," said Booker T. Hatcher, victim's cousin.

Maurice's family says the church was the teenager's second home. Besides Bible study and Sunday school, Maurice spent a lot of time in the church gym playing basketball.

"He was proud of the things that he done. He was a modest young man, too. He didn't talk about being the greatest. He just wanted to play ball," said Donnie McDonnell, youth minister.

Pastor Barbara Morgan called Maurice an old soul, a boy who had good manners, never talked back, helped senior citizens, and was a mentor to young boys.

"He is just such an inspiration to the little kids. Fourteen years old and he had the capacity of an adult. On Earth Day, who would have thought that he would be leaving the planet earth," said Morgan.

This past Sunday, Reverend Morgan asked Maurice what he had planned to do on Earth day and Davenport responded I just want to get outside and play softball.

Davenport was going to graduate from the eighth grade at Garrett Morgan Elementary School just this past September. He had been named Student of the Month.


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