Student's death raises questions

Family disputes medical examiner's ruling
February 4, 2009 2:47:48 PM PST
The family of a 10-year-old boy who died after he was found reportedly hanging from a coat hook at an Evanston school wants answers from police and school officials. The Cook County Medical Examiner has ruled the death of Aquan Lewis a suicide. However, his friends and family do not believe the fifth-grader would have killed himself.

"He didn't hang himself," said a very distraught Angel Marshall, Aquan's mother, while leaving the school. "Something went wrong."

Aquan was found at 3 p.m. at Oakton Elementary School, located at Ridge and Oakton in Evanston, on Tuesday. He died of his injuries early Wednesday morning at a local hospital.

"He was a very happy kid. I don't see him doing that to himself," said Latoya Marshall, boy's cousin.

Evanston police and school officials have been tight-lipped about the investigation. They have not said who found Aquan in the bathroom or what state he was in at the time.

Officials said the case is an isolated incident and no other students are in harm's way.

"If you're going to ask too specific questions, I have to warn you you're going to get a lot of 'the investigation is ongoing,'" said Cmdr. Tom Guenther, Evanston Police Department.

"If there is to someone to blame, I have to take the blame for that because I'm the superintendent of schools," said Supt. Hardy Murphy, District 65 Schools.

Grief counselors were at the school on Wednesday to help students and staff cope with the loss.