BOWIE, Md., July 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Keith Waddell Warren was a 19-year-old-man who had been accepted into North Carolina Central University and was to begin his college career in the fall, but instead he was found hanging from a tree on July 30, 1986.
A tree, a young man, a rope and a death: these factors in 1986 were a mystery that even the most naive police officer with the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) would find unusual and warrant a closer look. Shockingly, the State of Maryland Medical Examiner's office without a criminal investigation or comprehensive autopsy declared this young man's death a suicide based on no credible evidence. The tragedy of this grisly death is compounded by the events that followed and have lead to a twenty-five-year search for the truth. Keith Warren's mother, Mary Chambers Couey, dedicated her life to finding justice for her son. Her daughter, and Keith's little sister, Sherri Warren, walked with her mother on this winding road of discovery. Tragically, Mary Couey died suddenly on May 25, 2009, but her commitment to her son lives on through her daughter.
"To know that my big brother died alone, hung from a tree and left there for the world to view, continues to haunt me," says his devoted sister. "My mother went to her grave wanting justice for our family and I now have that same fervor to avenge his brutal murder that was covered up."
Here are some major points of interest:
The family was notified of the death about 5 hours after the body was found. The body was immediately taken to a funeral home for embalming; no criminal investigation or comprehensive autopsy was performed. The family was not informed prior to the embalming. The clothing that he was wearing when found was not his own. The tree from which Keith Warren was hanged was cut down quickly and taken into "evidence" by MCPD but cannot be found. There was no evidence of a criminal investigation, no yellow tape, no questioning of witnesses or other steps to evaluate if a crime had occurred.
There are many more instances of questionable behavior on the part of the MCPD and the coroner's office. The facts do not add up and the family engaged the services of a renowned forensic pathologist, Isidore Mihalkis, MD, seven years after Keith Warren's murder. The body was exhumed and the findings were startling. "Toxicological findings are incompatible with the autopsy findings and in fact do not support a hanging diagnosis," stated Dr. Mihalkis. Specifically the toxicology analysis revealed abnormally elevated amounts of tricholormethane, a solvent found in paints and lacquer. The pathologist, based on the high levels of this chemical in the victim's body, concluded that severe mental confusion would have resulted and impaired decision-making and routine actions. "I do not believe that he would have the ability to hang himself, and for that matter he would not have had the ability to make the decision about hanging himself." In this doctor's expert opinion, the death must be investigated as a homicide.
"We have simply asked for a criminal investigation and answers to the inconsistencies which are apparent," says Keith Warren's baby sister Sherri. "My brother, just like any American or human being, deserves a full investigation of his death and I will not rest until he has justice."
Who will stand for justice in the Keith Waddell Warren case? Please go to http://www.KeithWarrenJusticeSite.com for more information.