Justice for Ben Keita
Justice for Ben Keita
Why this petition matters
Ben Keita was 18 years old when he was found hanging from a tree in January, 2017, in his hometown of Lake Stevens, Washington, near Seattle. His death was initially ruled a suicide, and the cause was later changed to “undetermined”. Several factors point to murder, yet no one has been arrested for the crime.
According to the medical examiner, “Although at autopsy I did not see any evidence of trauma beyond the evidence of hanging, the circumstances of the very high tree branch, uncertain location of the decedent [victim] for the six weeks prior to discovery (with a report that the area where the body was found had been previously searched), and lack of any reported suicidal ideation or attempts makes a definitive classification of the manner as suicide uncertain," an associate medical examiner wrote in the autopsy report January 26.
To summarize, the medical examiner and others found it unlikely to be a suicide based on several factors:
-the rope was tied to a tree branch thirty feet above the ground
-Ben had been missing since November, and ice crystals were found in his blood, indicating that his body may have been frozen prior to the hanging
-the body could not have been hanging there for long because the tree where the body was found is about 12 to 14 feet from a trail, and “maybe 10 feet at most from the nearest backyard fence”, according to Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of the Washington chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations
-the body was hanging only about 2.5 feet off the ground, so anyone waking by would have easily seen it
-Ben had never expressed any thoughts or behaviors indicative of being suicidal
Ben was a young man who was loved by his family and community, and had dreams of going to medical school, and he deserves justice.
Law enforcement - Lake Stevens PD and the FBI - need to re-open the case and get to the bottom on Ben Keita’s murder.
Please sign to help make this happen.
Article from CNN on Ben Keita’s death
- Jay S. Tabb, Jr.Special Agent in Charge, FBI Seattle Field Office
- Chief John DyerLake Stevens Police Department
- Bob FergusonWashington State Attorney General