Grave of boy who killed himself opened to retrieve computer for bullying investigation
CINCINNATI (AP) — The grave of an 8-year-old Ohio boy who killed himself in January after his mother said he was bullied at school was opened to remove a computer tablet for prosecutors investigating his suicide, authorities said Wednesday.
The Hamilton County Coroner’s Office said Gabriel Taye’s grave was opened Wednesday to remove the tablet on behalf of the county prosecutor’s office. The tablet was buried with Gabriel because his mother wanted to ensure “he had something to play with in heaven.”
The coroner’s office statement said the body wasn’t disturbed and the grave was restored, but it had no further comment. A spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office said they had no immediate comment.
A statement released Wednesday by attorneys for the boy’s family said the family consented to the exhumation, hoping a forensic examination of the tablet would provide more information on what happened and because “they are so desperate for answers.”
The statement said the mother also asked for a re-examination of her son’s body since the exhumation was going to proceed, and was disappointed a re-examination unfortunately “wasn’t possible.”
The attorneys for the mother, Cornelia Reynolds, have said she didn’t learn her son was bullied until they saw an email written by a Cincinnati police detective describing the scene outside a boys’ bathroom where the attorneys say Gabriel was knocked unconscious. He hanged himself two days later at his home on Jan. 26.
The Cincinnati Public Schools district has said the boy told staff he had fainted and never said he had been bullied or assaulted. The district last month released copies of a choppy 24-minute-long video that shows one boy bullying other students. The mother’s attorneys say he pushed Gabriel into a wall, knocking him unconscious.
The district also noted that police had reviewed the video and no charges were filed.
County Prosecutor Joe Deters has since said that his office is looking into possible charges in the case, and the coroner said earlier that she was reopening the investigation into Gabriel’s suicide.
“Gabe was buried with his tablet because his mother wanted to make sure he had something to play with in heaven,” according to the statement.
“She is disappointed that a re-examination was not possible, but hopes his tablet will yield some answers,” Reynolds’ attorney, Jennifer Branch, said in the statement.