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Body of bullied 8-year-old boy exhumed, suicide ruling remains

Gabriel Taye’s family says they will continue to investigate the role that bullying played in the boy’s hanging death

A follow-up investigation into the tragic death of an eight-year-old Ohio boy who was mercilessly bullied at school has closed, with a final determination that the cause of death was suicide.

As Crime Online previously reported, Gabriel Taye was found dead in his Cincinnati-area home in January, two days after he was beaten unconscious in the boy’s bathroom at Carson Elementary School. The beating was caught on surveillance camera, but Taye’s family was not aware of the assault until after he died. School officials told Taye’s mother that the little boy had fainted, apparently unaware themselves of the severity of the bullying until after viewing the video — which did not surface until months later.

According to WCPO, the Hamilton County Coroner announced this week that a follow-up investigation into the boy’s hanging death “did not reveal any information inconsistent with our original finding” that Gabriel died by suicide. While Gabriel’s body was exhumed, the coroner was not able to re-examine Gabriel’s body because of water damage to casket’s vault. The coroner was able to examine the boy’s tablet, which was buried with him.

The coroner’s review was an attempt to determine whether the injuries Gabriel sustained in the bathroom beating may have contributed to his death.

“What we are going to try to do is determine what kind of physical findings may be attributed to injuries he sustained,” Dr. Lakshimi Sammarco said in May.

“We want to do right by this child … This has been one of the most emotionally draining cases that we’ve had in our office.”

As Crime Online previously reported, Gabriel became sick to his stomach that night and his mother took him to the emergency room, where she was told he had a virus. Earlier this month, Cincinnati.com reported that some of the boys involved in the bathroom beating were experiencing severe anxiety over the possibility they had contributed to Gabriel’s death.

But whether or not his suicide was motivated by the bullying, the coroner’s findings do not suggest any contributing physical factors other than the injuries sustained in the hanging. The coroner did not amend the boy’s death certificate to include any mention of bullying.

Taye’s family released a statement in response to the coroner’s closed investigation, obtained by WCPO:

“The family of Gabriel Taye would like to thank Dr. Sammarco for her attempt to determine the contributing factors that caused his death. Gabe’s family consented to his exhumation in the hopes that it would provide more answers. We will be continuing our investigation into the bullying that contributed to his death.”