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A heartbroken Massachusetts mother asks for justice over teenage daughter’s mysterious death

The heartbroken Massachusetts mother, who said the investigation into her daughter’s death last month was fraught with flaws, asking investigators on Thursday to treat the situation the same way. That they would if it were their own children

“What I want is for the criminal justice system to work,” said Calvina Strothers, Mikayla Miller’s mother, Strothers said, should police and prosecutors investigating the circumstances of her daughter’s death. “Work hard to bring Mikayla the same justice they do for their own children.”

Mikayla MillerJustice for Mikayla Miller

Strothers spoke on Thursday afternoon during a vigil in her hometown of Hopkinton, where at least hundreds of people remember Mikayla.

Mikayla, 16, who had a dream of becoming a journalist and attended Black College in the past, was found dead by a jogger on early April 18 in a wooded area near her apartment. The nature of her death has not been released. But police and prosecutors said she was involved in the fight a day earlier.

The teenage death made Hopkinton a city about 35 miles west of Boston and is best known for hosting runners at the starting line of the Boston Marathon. Critics say an investigation by the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office and the City Police has been confused and Mikayla’s race and sexual orientation played a role in handling the case.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan defended the investigation.

“Let me speak to the calls and questions that we have appropriately received from the people concerned about the idea that this office has neglected some Mikayla’s case, or worse, engaged in some kind of cover-up because Mikayla is. Black people or because she’s a member of the LBGTQIA community, “Ryan said at a press conference Tuesday.” That’s painfully false. “

Ryan called Mikayla’s death “an indescribable tragedy” and described the teenager as “an unspeakable tragedy”. “A beautiful child … a cherished daughter, a gifted student, a talented athlete and a loyal friend.”

Hopkinton has more than 18,000 residents, with about 84 percent of whom are white, about 2 percent identifying black, according to preliminary census data.

Mikayla’s death echoed from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., by some of the state’s most influential politicians. United States W. Elizabeth Warren called for a “thorough and transparent investigation”.

U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley, who represents Massachusetts’s seventh district, which includes Boston and some nearby communities, has taken a step further and said there should be one. “An independent investigation,” Pressley also tweeted about high school students’ fondness for basketball and their aspirations in college.

“She has a basketball game, road trips and HBCU’s homecoming in front of her,” Pressley said.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who is openly gay, also posted on Twitter: “My heart is broken for Mikayla Miller’s family. LGBTQ youths deserve love, support and protection. All of us “

When Ryan spoke to reporters, she said there was no conclusions about Mikayla’s death.The investigation is ongoing and the cause and nature of the death will be determined by the office of the state’s chief medical examiner. A spokesman for the office said on Thursday that 96 percent of autopsy reports and mortality certificates, possibly including toxicology and other specialized tests, were completed in less than 90 days.

In a media briefing this week, Ryan was asked why Hopkinton police told Mikayla’s family that the teenager had died of suicide and initially told reporters the deaths were unsuspecting.

“Often… things may seem like one thing, and we’ve learned more,” Ryan said.

Ryan said Mikayla was in a physical fight on April 17 with two other teenagers, a man and a woman. They scrambled at Mikayla’s apartment complex, Ryan said shortly after, Mikayla’s mother called Hopkinton police and reported her daughter was jumped. Researchers noticed the teenager’s bloody lips, Ryan said.

That night, Mikayla left the house between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., according to data pulled from the teen’s cell phone health app, Ryan said.The app showed she walked 1,316 steps.

Her body was found by a jogger around 7:45 am on April 18, investigators said.

“The 1,316 steps are roughly the distance between Mikayla’s house and the place where her body will later be,” Ryan said.

Ryan said cell phones and other belongings were found with the teen’s body.

At Thursday’s rally, Strothers disputed several facts Ryan made publicly announced.Strothers said her daughter was physically abused by five teenagers and that her cell phone was not present before her death, so researchers just speculate. How far away her body was found from her apartment, Strothers said, investigators had withheld a police report from her.

A Ryan spokeswoman declined to comment on those allegations as of Thursday afternoon.

Watching the tearful Strothers talk about how she and her daughter are barely separated, and regret that she’ll never be able to watch Mikayla to celebrate milestones such as getting a driver’s license, completing high school and college education and falling out. fond

“She is my bright and shining star in this crazy world,” said Strothers. And although she is only 16 years old, she is better able to give advice to others in times of need than I am. “

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