** WARNING: This story contains graphic and disturbing information **
The death of 20-year-old Amanuel "Amani" Kildea whose body was found hanging in a Morris County park tree last June was ruled a suicide following a months-long investigation, authorities said Wednesday.
Kildea's body was found by a Lewis Morris Park hiker around 2:45 p.m. on June 28, around the same time at least seven black men were hanged in the U.S.
"While the Morris County Prosecutor does not ordinarily issue public statements containing specific details regarding suicide investigations, there has been a great deal of inquiry related to this investigation," Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp said.
"As a result, now that the investigation has concluded, these details are being shared in order to provide as much transparency as possible."
Responders found Kildea's body in a near-seated position at the base of the tree, with a rope wrapped around his neck, Knapp said.
The rope was connected to the tree approximately six-and-a-half feet from the ground, and Kildea's body was partially suspended several inches from the ground, the prosecutor said.
Kildea was alone when he purchased the rope he used to hang himself from a Morris County home improvement center earlier that day, Knapp said.
Kildea had conducted multiple internet searches related to suicide that same day, and the investigation "did not reveal any evidence of criminality, nor is there any evidence of a connection between Mr. Kildea’s suicide and any other person or group," Knapp said.
"There were no indications of a struggle observed at the scene," Knapp said alongside Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Acting Chief of Investigations Christoph Kimker, and Morris County Park Police Chief Gabe DiPietro.
The Morris County Medical Examiner did not find any trauma to Kildea’s body that was inconsistent with the manner of death.
"Out of respect and consideration for Mr. Kildea’s family, there will be no further comment on the details of this investigation," the prosecutor said.
The investigation was conducted by the Morris County Park Police, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, with assistance from the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, and in consultation with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, which concurs with the findings herein.
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