MORRISTOWN, NJ - After discovering a body in Lewis Morris Park on June 28, authorities have identified the deceased as Amani Kildea of Long Valley.
According to his obituary, Kildea loved basketball, was bright and loved games. He was adopted from Ethiopia when he was five years old. His native language was Amharic, but he picked up English very quickly, it read.
"Although life with Amani was often challenging at home, we loved him dearly" read his obituary. "His departure from us and from this world is an unspeakable tragedy for us all. He will be a part of our family forever, and we trust he is safe in the arms of Jesus. O dear, sweet boy, Amani! We love you."
The Morris County Medical Examiner has determined that 20-year-old Kildea died by suicide. However, the Morris County Prosecutor's Office will continue to investigate the circumstances of Kildea's death.
“Contrary to the statements made in social media and elsewhere, the investigation remains open and has not concluded," said Prosecutor Fredric Knapp and Acting Chief of Investigations Christophy Kimker in a joint statement. "Our initial statement by this office was intended to preliminarily and expeditiously inform the public that we and multiple other law enforcement agencies, including the Morris County Park Police, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit and Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, have been working with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit to investigate the circumstances of Mr. Kildea’s death.”
“As of this time, no evidence of a criminal act has yet been found, however, our efforts to determine what occurred remain very active," they said. "We have followed and continue to follow all investigative leads and will go where the evidence takes us.”
“The publication of the Morris County Medical Examiner’s determination as to the manner of Mr. Kildea’s death was disclosed publicly to provide as much transparency on this investigation as possible. However, we cannot disclose all investigative steps we have taken or that we will be pursuing, so as not to compromise our investigation. The Morris County Medical Examiner is a medical doctor who does not work for the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. Rather, the Office of the Medical Examiner is under the Morris County Department of Law and Public Safety, which is totally independent of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office," the statement read. "We are guided by the Medical Examiner’s findings, however, that does not mean that our investigation has concluded.”
“The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office is committed to the thorough, appropriate, professional and prompt investigation of any suspicious and/or unnatural deaths. There will be no further comment on this investigation at this time out of respect for Mr. Kildea’s family," they said.
A service will be held on Mon., July 6, at Redeemer Lutheran Church (203 Eyland Ave., Succasunna) at 7 p.m. Because of COVID-19 limitations, in-person attendance will be by invite only.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cross Roads Camp and Retreat Center (29 Pleasant Grove Rd., Port Murray, NJ 07865), or any organization dedicated to suicide prevention.
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