Lennon Lacy was found hanging from a wooden swing set on August 29. Authorities have ruled out foul play in the teen's death. However, his family is not convinced. Although Lennon had no history of mental illness, North Carolina officials believe the high school student committed suicide.
On the afternoon of August 28, Lennon Lacy was preparing for a big game. He washed his uniform, packed his bag, and planned to go to bed early. Instead, he walked out the front door and never returned.
The following morning, the teen was found hanging from a wooden swing set -- less than a mile from his home.
Lennon spent his entire summer training for the start of the football season. As a starting linebacker for the varsity team, Lacy had dreams of making it to the NFL.
The teen's friends and family can not believe he would commit suicide on the night before a big game. Teammate Anthony White said "he was real excited... he was looking forward to doing good in the game."
State and local officials worked together to investigate the teen's death. However, they did not find any signs of foul play. A medical examiner determined Lennon Lacy "died from asphyxia die to hanging."
As reported by The Guardian, Lennon's friends and family still have questions about the teen's death. His mother, Claudia, is specifically concerned about abrasions which she observed on her son's arms, face, and shoulders. Claudia said her son also had a large bump on his head, which may indicate he was hit.
Undertaker FW Newton Jr., also questioned the condition of Lennon's body. Authorities said the strange marks and abrasions were likely caused by insects. However, Newton said the teen's body "reminded him of corpses... where the deceased had been killed in a bar-room fight."
Lennon's family is also concerned as he was found wearing shoes that were clearly not his. The football player was wearing size 10.5 sneakers, which were nearly two sizes too small. Although he recently purchased a brand pair of Jordans, his new shoes were nowhere to be found.
Attorney Allen Rogers, who represents Lacy Lennon's family, said officials have not compiled sufficient evidence to rule out foul play.
"I don't believe that a thorough investigation has been done... The concern is that there's been a rush to judgment – a desire quickly to settle any issue over the cause of death."As reported by Global Grind, it has been suggested that the teen was the victim of a hate crime. According to reports, the 17-year-old boy was dating a 31-year-old white woman. Journalist Christina Coleman notes that some of Lennon's "neighbors still have Confederate flags in their yard." She further suggests "the interracial relationship may have caused some 'tension' in the community.
Lennon Lacy's brutal and unexpected death was hard enough for his family and friends. To make matters worse, someone desecrated the teen's grave days after he was laid to rest.
[Image via GUIM]