FBI to review case of Muslim teen found dead in Washington

With the backing of a Muslim civil rights group, the family has requested an FBI investigation into the death of Ben Keita, initially ruled a suicide by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner. His body was found more than a month later.

"He was planning to graduate this year from Lake Stevens High School", Ben Keita's father said, according to Seattle radio station KUOW.

Police said that foul play was not suspected.

The FBI told KIRO on Thursday that it was reviewing the case, though had not yet determined whether an investigation should be opened.

Keita's parents have asked the FBI to investigate their son's death and told local news that the 18-year-old did not have a history of mental illness. He was a Running Start student at a nearby community college, although he hadn't been to school for three weeks, unbeknownst to his parents. However, Keita's body was discovered almost a month after that K9 search by a group of teenagers passing through the area.

The family became concerned that police had not been aggressive enough in investigating the death and decided the cause was suicide too quickly, even though previous searches of the area failed to find Keita's body, Bukhari said. "Although at autopsy I did not see any evidence of trauma beyond the evidence of hanging, the circumstances of the very high tree branch, uncertain location of the decedent for the 6 weeks prior to discovery (with a report that the area where the body was found had been previously searched), and lack of any reported suicidal ideation or attempts makes a definitive classification of the manner as suicide uncertain".

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"[He had] no history of depression, anxiety, any psychological breakdown at all, so he was a very...happy young man", Keita's father, Ibrahima, said in an interview with KIRO 7.

On November 26, his family reported him missing, with Keita having apparently left home early in the morning.

Keita's family is asking anyone with information in the case to come forward.

At Tuesday's CAIR-led news conference, the Rev. Kelle Brown, pastor of Seattle's Plymouth Church, struck a similar tone.

The FBI issued a statement on Friday saying it concurs with the conclusions of local police that 'evidence collected to date does not provide any indication of a criminal act, ' but that it would reevaluate its position if new evidence develops. "If warranted, we may conduct further investigation", Dietrich said. He also describes his son as a "happy, generous young man with plans for his life".

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