Ben Keita: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

ben keita

Ben Keita. (Facebook)

The death of a Muslim teenager whose body was found hanging from a tree in a wooded area has drawn the attention of federal authorities.

The death of Ben Keita – a high school student with a promising future – was initially ruled a suicide, but now authorities are reconsidering that finding.

According to KIRO 7, Keita, 18, was found hanging from the tree in Lake Stevens, Washington.

According to CBS News, the FBI released a statement on March 3 that said “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.”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Medical Examiner Changed the Cause of Death After Oddities Were Noted in the Case

KIRO 7 reported that the medical examiner initially ruled the death a suicide but changed the manner to undetermined because of a series of anomalies in the case.

For one, the television station reported, the rope was tied 50 feet up the tree, which is unusual for a hanging, and K-9s dispatched to the scene did not initially find Keita’s body, KIRO 7 reported.

According to CNN, “The autopsy report says his body may have been semi-frozen for weeks, consistent with winter, and could have been there the entire time he’d been missing. But his feet were about 2.5 feet off the ground — no need to look up — and the area supposedly was previously searched, the report says.”

CNN reported the rope was “tied to a tree branch at least 30 feet high.”

2. Keita’s Family Says Keita Was a ‘Happy’ Person Without Suicidal Tendencies

Keita was not depressed or acting suicidal before his death, his father told Fox News.

“Ben was a happy, young man,” Ben’s father, Ibrahima Keita, told q13. “We believe that somewhere, someone must know something about this case and we urge people to come forward and contact the police.”

He was initially reported missing. The missing poster for Keita says he was last seen at his mother’s home in Lake Stevens around 1 a.m. on November 26. CNN reported Keita’s body was found “by a passerby January 9, dangling from a long rope tied to a high branch.”

However, Lake Stevens Police said “Keita had not gone to work the day before his disappearance and had not gone to school for about three weeks prior,” according to CBS News.

3. An Islamic Organization Wants Federal Authorities to Investigate

According to Fox News, the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations “is calling for the FBI to investigate the death.”

“We just want to make sure that the expertise, the experience and the human resources of the FBI are brought to make sure everything is comprehensively investigated, no stone is left unturned,” Washington CAIR executive director Arsalan Bukhari told KIRO.

A January autopsy report says, according to CNN: “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 six 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.”

4. Ben, who Was in High School, Wanted to Be a Doctor

Keita’s father said in a news conference that his son “was planning to graduate this year from Lake Stevens High School.” CNN reported that Keita wanted to be a medical examiner as a career.

Ibrahim Keita also said, according to The Huffington Post, “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.”

5. Police Consider the Case Open Until They Receive Crime Lab Reports

Lake Stevens police said in a statement, according to The New York Daily News, “that the case remains open as they await results from the state crime lab after reports surfaced that they were going to close the case.”

The Daily News reported that the FBI’s Seattle office says it is “communicating with our police partners.”


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That doesn’t mean anything, that a rope being tied 50 feet in a tree.
Children hang themselves every day from the abuse of their parents ; and from the abuse teachers give them ; and from bullies at school .
You are sure it was not a rope swing ?
How come when a Christian Child hangs themselves the FBI isn’t called.
That’s what all parents say. One other thing, boys like to climb trees . it’s a sad thing for a child’s life to be wasted that way, or was it .
what’s a martyr ?
But we all know, they’re just hoping it was a white man that had something to do with it. There’s always another story ,that we should consider, before jumping to conclusions.

Lascelles Brown

“…they’re just hoping it was a white man that had something to do with it”. Aren’t you the one who’s jumping to conclusion? We’re all trying to see if it’s murder and not suicide. The race or ethnicity of the perpetrator(s) isn’t the criterion for the need of an investigation; justice is.


No not really, because if race and religion had nothing to do with it.
Why did they mention he was Muslim ? This story should have been kept quiet until the authorities finished their investigation. But it wasn’t kept quiet, it was spread all over the news ,for one reason and one reason only to promote racial tension . My response should have been ( many people ) are hoping it is a white man ,behind this heinous act. Or is it just simply suicide as the corners report stated in the first place ?

Daniel N Page

Children DO NOT commit suicide everyday!. They usually love life because many more years are ahead of them. Ben seemed like he was full of life. He doesn’t look like he was disturbed kid,he was like every other kid. He also was smart, do you really think that Ben would climb a tree with a noose around his neck? This is a classic case of racism, the way he was hung was like the Klan. They hide behind the police and the sheriff’s office in the South.Whoever was so evil to do this crime must be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We will fight alongside Ben’s parents. Ben, you will be not forgotten by me and many other people around the world. This kind of hate must stop.Join “The Resistance”.


I had a friend a few years back that used to be an EMT. He told me how he had to respond to TWO separate calls in one day of children hanging themselves. They were both under 12 years old. He said it was the worst day in all of his career. Apparently, it’s more common that we think. I go out of my way to communicate and hug my child daily especially after a disagreement because his story is always at the back of my mind.

Tony Sliverstein

“the rope was tied 50 feet up the tree” – That is the key.

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