Nevan Baker, a 22-year-old man from Orlando, Florida has become a national trending topic after he was found hanging from a tree, with his death ultimately ruled as a suicide. According to local reports, Baker’s family members say they believe his death was not a suicide, as the Orlando Police Department and Medical Examiner’s Office have initially determined.
Nevan Baker was found dead on October 11th about 3:45 a.m. in Barker Park, near Camping World Stadium and the Washington Shores neighborhood, hanging by a rope from a tree, according to OPD’s case report — alarming circumstances that his family and many in the Orlando community say deserve increased scrutiny.
“I’m not done with this situation; it’s just beginning,” said Sharhonda James, Baker’s mom. “Nobody’s going to stand for this in this community. My son didn’t hang himself. I know my child.” James said she has requested that OPD let her see any photos or videos from the scene and of her son’s body from the night of his death, but has not been given them. “We’re not going to let this go; the community is not going to let this go,” James said. She said she has no reason to believe her son committed suicide.
Meanwhile, local authorities are sticking to the suicide claim. “Officers have exhausted all leads and, at this time, there is no evidence of foul play or any kind of physical struggle,” OPD posted in a statement late last week. “This is a tragic case of suicide. … We are keeping the victim, his family and friends in our thoughts during this difficult time.”
After OPD officers were called to the park, they attempted live-saving measures but were unsuccessful, the OPD case report said. Officers then spoke with people in the area, including the man who found Baker while walking his dog and a man who’d been sleeping nearby under a park pavilion. None said they knew what led up to his death.