Lake Stevens police still investigating death of Ben Keita, 18

LAKE STEVENS — Police continue to investigate the death of 18-year-old Ben Keita.

Detectives believe the death was a suicide. They have conferred with the FBI and other national and local investigators and are awaiting laboratory results, Lake Stevens Police Chief John Dyer said Wednesday.

Keita’s parents participated in a press conference Tuesday organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Seattle civil rights group. The family said they want to make sure the investigation is careful and comprehensive. They have asked the FBI to get further involved.

The FBI will conduct a review, spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich said. “A review does not necessarily result in the opening of an investigation,” she said.

Keita went missing in November. His body was found in January. He died from hanging, according to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office. The medical examiner initially categorized the death a suicide but later determined there was not enough information to make a ruling.

There were no signs of suicidal behavior, according to the family. At the same time, there is no evidence that any violence occurred. Keita was a Running Start student. He’d stopped attending classes a few weeks before his disappearance, police said.

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