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FBI to review case of Muslim teen found dead in Washington

His body was found hanging by a rope from a tree on January 9 in a wooded area of Lake Stevens. Six weeks went by in between Keita's disappearance - he went missing without personal items such as his cell phone, auto or wallet - and his body being found, weeks after search and rescue combed the area. Yet he disappeared seemingly without explanation in late November, and now here was his body, found by a passerby January 9, dangling from a long rope tied to a high branch. His death was initially ruled a suicide, although the medical examiner for Snohomish County now says his death is "inconclusive".

A week later, after speaking with Keita's family members, the medical examiner determined that there was not enough evidence to reach that conclusion and changed the manner of death to "undetermined", Patton said.

Bukhari said this week that the family isn't happy about the pace of the local police investigation, and that Keita's family believes police haven't interviewed four people - co-workers of Keita - who they think may have known something about his whereabouts.

Lake Stevens police detectives said in a statement on Wednesday that they had conferred with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and were keeping the case open while they awaited results from the Washington State Crime lab.

Keita's father has said his son had no history or depression, anxiety or psychological issues of any kind. "He was already in the Running Start program at Everett Community College and he was dreaming of becoming a medical doctor and work as a medical examiner. Now those dreams are over". A previous dog search of the same woods weeks earlier did not discover Keita's body at the time, indicating that he was most likely missing for quite some time before his death.




The death of Ben Keita, 18, was initially ruled a suicide.

"We are careful not to rush to judgment", Rev. Kele Brown, of the Plymouth Congregational Church in Seattle, said.

"The family believes that with a comprehensive investigation, with every lead and every avenue explored, we can find the reasons for how this all happened", Bukhari added.

The death is suspicious and probably the work of a hate crime.

"He was planning to graduate this year from Lake Stevens High School", Ben Keita's father said, according to Seattle radio station KUOW. "Historically lynchings were often deemed quickly as suicide without the benefit of thorough inquiry".

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