The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office says an autopsy today determined that the death of a boy found unresponsive in a bathroom at Oakton Elementary School yesterday was a suicide.

10-year-old Aquan Lewis, of Skokie was pronounced dead this morning at Children’s Memorial Hospital, where he’d been transferred after initially being taken to St. Francis Hospital.

A janitor at the school told reporters yesterday that the boy had been found hanging from a hook in the restroom and that he had performed CPR on the youngster in an effort to revive him.

Police and school officials provided few details about the incident at a noon news conference today.

Evanston Police Commander Tom Guenther says that despite the ruling from the medical examiner, police are continuing to conduct interviews and process evidence from the site to try to determine exactly what happened.

Guenther says that because the investigation is continuing, it would be inappropriate for him to comment on what conclusions it may reach.

Update 5:33 p.m.:

Late today District 65 School Superintendent Hardy Murphy released a statement to district parents abou the incident in which he said, “I know that you and your child may hear speculations that are frightening or alarming.”

At this point in the police investigation, Murphy added, “It appears this is an isolated incident involving one student. No other students were in harm’s way.”

Murphy said, “I appreciate that the Oakton teachers and staff made personal contact with their families on Tuesday evening because this incident happened while children were still in the building. We know the children saw emergency response vehicles at the school, and we wanted to assure families that we would have counselors available for them and their children.”

Murphy said parents can call their local school to arrange counseling with school social workers, psychologists or other staff.

Related stories

Evanston student’s death ruled a suicide (Chicago Tribune)

Evanston student’s death ruled a suicide (Pioneer Press) 

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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3 Comments

  1. This is so, so sad.
    This one makes my heart sink. I am concerned with the amount of rumors around the incident.

    No ten year old child should feel the need to harm themselves, and should the rumors be true that have been eluded to, that is a whole other sad, sad issue.

    I am probably coming across disjointed, but this is very upsetting. Many thoughts and prayers and pauses for this young man.

  2. Heartbreaking
    I have three sons, and I am heartbroken for this young man and his family. I don’t know any details about this case, but no matter how this tragedy happened, it is unspeakably sad. Whether it turns out that he committed suicide, or something more sinister took place, it is such a huge loss. I hope and pray he wasn’t the target of bullies. God bless you Aquan, and may he grant peace to your family.

  3. No one paid him any attention
    I just think its ashame that no one was there to catch him because hes been fallen a long time, and was crying for help and no one was thare for him, he”s with his grandmother now .may god bless you.

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