Evanston police say they’re continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a 10-year-old Skokie boy found hanging from a hook in a bathroom stall at Oakton Elementary School on Tuesday.

Commander Tom Guenther says additional investigators have been called in from the North Region Major Crimes Task Force to help interview people who may have information relevant to the case — including teachers and administrators at the school as well as parents and students.

Guenther said that given the scope of the investigation into the death of Aquan Lewis, it’s impossible to determine how soon police will be able to reach firm conclusions about what happened.

The county medical examiner’s office ruled Wednesday that the death was a suicide.

But Aquan’s 26-year-old mother, Angel Marshall, says she doesn’t believe her son would have committed suicide and has asked that a second autopsy be conducted.

The Chicago Tribune reports that suicide is the sixth most common cause of death among children in Aquan’s age group.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Suicide is Rare in 10-year Olds
    I am not sure where the Chicago Tribune gets its data about common causes of death. A different publication quotes these statistics:
    “Suicides among children as young as Aquan are extremely rare. There were on average just 10 U.S. suicides among 10-year-olds a year between 1999 and 2005, according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. By comparison, there were an average of about 75 suicides a year among 13-year-olds, and about 250 a year among 16-year-olds.”

    Regardless of whether or not this was suicide, we do need to take our children’s mental health seriously, and do what we can to ensure their mental, physical and emotional well-being.

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