HOPKINTON, Mass. (NewsNation Now) — Police on Wednesday released new documents and recordings related to the death of Massachusetts teenager Mikayla Miller. The documents come one day after authorities ruled the 16-year-old girl died by suicide.
Joseph Bennett, the police chief in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, said Wednesday he ordered the release of a recording of the 911 call to the police station, recordings of the police department and dispatch radio transmissions, recordings of the Hopkinton Fire Department response, written logs and video from a police cruiser’s dashboard camera in response to significant public outcry.
“The death of a child is a universal tragedy, and it is the most difficult situation a police officer or firefighter can be called to respond to,” Chief Bennett said. “We generally do not comment publicly on such cases. I do appreciate and understand the tremendous public interest in this investigation. We all want answers.”
Miller’s body was found on April 18 in a wooded area about a mile from her home. A health app on her phone tracked movement from 9 to 10 p.m. the night before, according to the district attorney’s office. It showed that she walked about 1,300 steps, which matches the distance between her home and the area where she was found.
The handling of the case has drawn scrutiny from activists and from Mikayla’s mother, Calvina Strothers, who previously said police hastily called it a suicide and failed to complete a thorough investigation.
Strothers said Mikayla was attacked by five white teens in Hopkinton the day before her body was found. Activists have suggested that her death could be a hate crime. Mikayla was Black and a member of the LGBT community.
According to an account from the district attorney, Mikayla was involved in an altercation with two teens in a residential building in Hopkinton the evening before her body was found. Two other teens were also in the room, and another was in a car outside. After the fight, police were called to Mikayla’s home and found she had been punched in the face.
Officers went to the homes of the two others involved in the fight and took statements.
But investigators found that all five teens involved were elsewhere later that evening, the district attorney’s office said. Cell phone data and witness accounts confirmed their whereabouts.
“Our investigation into the events surrounding Mikayla’s death remains active and ongoing,” the Middlesex District Attorney’s office said Tuesday. “We will continue to explore every investigative angle necessary as we do that work and intend to issue a complete and thorough report at the conclusion of the investigation.”