It is our sincere hope that Lennon Lacy may now rest in peace and that his family and friends can allow the grieving process to lead to the healing that has been difficult to find, for many reasons, over the past 21 months.
The young man, who was found hanging from a Bladenboro neighborhood swing set on Aug. 29, 2014, quickly became the subject of numerous national agendas and many in the area who wanted to create something that just wasn’t. But last week, it was officially determined that the death did not result from foul play.
Right from the beginning, we have been sure those who were tasked with the responsibility to investigate Lacy’s death did so as professionally and thoroughly as was humanly possible — from the Bladenboro Police Department to the Bladen County District Attorney’s Office to the N.S. State Medical Examiner’s Office to the N.S. State Bureau of Investigation and, at the end of that journey, the U.S. Judicial Department and FBI.
Our closest contact through this 21-month-long case has been with District Attorney Jon David and his chief investigator, Scott Pait. As things progressed, regardless of how the state chapter of the NAACP wanted desperately to put themselves on the map with a Ferguson, Mo., type of incident and the national media’s sensationalizing of the case and of Bladenboro, the District Attorney’s Office remained above board and transparent as possible.
We feel absolutely certain that, had there been just one shred of evidence for investigators to cling to that pointed toward murder, they would have left no stone unturned to track down the culprit. David has said as much to us numerous times.
Do questions remain? Certainly. But a handful of investigations have shown conclusively that the answers to some questions are impossible to answer. The one question of whether there is any provable evidence that Lacy died as a result of foul play has now been answered — and that answer is no.
So what we are left with is the tragedy of a young man who, for whatever reason and known only to him and God, chose to end his life at the tender age of 17. On the one hand, it appeared that he had plenty to live for; on the other it became obvious there were demons to deal with.
But now, it is time to let go of the back-room claims of a hate crime and the urges for retribution. We should also take a moment to applaud those who spent countless hours tracing every crumb of possible evidence in the case, letting the evidence lead them to a conclusion rather than allowing a group’s knee-jerk conclusion overshadow and twist the evidence.
Our hearts hurt for the Lacy family that lost a son, brother and relative; and for the town of Bladenboro as a whole, which lost a young resident. One day in the future, the grieving and pain will subside enough to move past it, but the memory of Lennon Lacy will never be forgotten and his spirit will live on for those who knew him.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day … unseen, unheard, but always near. Still loved, still missed and very dear.” (Unknown)