August 1, 1986

August 1, 1986

Pete Harris, Keith ‘s uncle, was at the Collins Funeral Home at 9:00a.m. sharp. He was still denied entrance. He was told he could not see Keith without Keith’s mother present.

Pete Harris, his wife, Donna Harris, and Mary Couey (still heavily sedated) came back right away, but Collins Funeral Home would still not allow them to see Keith, saying that Keith’s body was being “prepared,” and that because he was so badly decomposed, they felt it necessary to destroy the clothing he was wearing. report, Tab 3 that states there were only “a few small maggots in the mouth.”) CoUins Funeral

Home staff proceeded to ask Mary Couey (still heavily sedated) to sign a contract and to give them a check for $1,000, even though the body had not yet been identified by the next-of-kin. (Note that this was Pete and Donna Harris’s third trip to Collins Funeral Home.)

Pete asked to see the rope and the noose, but Collins Funeral Home said that the police had them.

Pete Harris, Donna Harris and Mary Couey then went to the Wheaton/Glenmont police station. Officer Leverette handed Pete Harris a brown grocery bag that contained the rope (without the noose), a tom duffle bag, a ripped cassette tape, a cap, a blue ski jacket, and an empty wine cooler carton (no bottles). Officer Leverette then handed Pete Keith’s brown work boots separately. The family asked for the noose, but the police did not know where it was.

As instructed, Pete Harris went back later in the day to Collins Funeral Home with Keith’s burial clothes. He was told again he could not see the body, even though a $1,000 deposit had already been submitted, and even though the body had still not been identified by the family. However, after Mr. Harris insisted, he was escorted to the back where the body was, but was rushed through and only allowed to view Keith for a couple of seconds without touching him. The family was not given a chance to say goodbye. (Mr. Harris did notice that there were no signs of major decomposition as stated by the funeral home.)

Sherri Warren (Keith’s sister), and her aunt (Deborah Turner) returned from New Jersey. Deborah wanted to postpone the funeral until an autopsy was done on Keith’s body. She called the police station and spoke with Detective Beasley. He insisted that the case was closed, that the death had been a suicide, and that it was too late to do an autopsy, because the body had already been embalmed.


  1. Mo 10 years ago

    The ppl who found Keith need to be found TODAY and re interviewed. Its almost common sense for the cops to assume them in the first place. How can someone kill themselves that way. Be foreal. I wonder if that officer knew the ppl who found Keith? Were the neighbors black?? I was floored this morning when this story came on UM. Ive been seeing this story for what? Two decades now? Still NO justice for him?? This is unacceptable and something has to be done NOW.. My deepest sympathy to you guys. I want to snoop around for those ppl who found Keith and that officer..

    • Sherri Warren 9 years ago

      The individuals who called 911 told the investigating officer and detective they did not want their names on the police report and the police did not put them on it

  2. Veronica 2 years ago

    I am just now hearing about this story, I am 38 and have lived in Silver Spring since 1995 and even went to Kennedy High School myself. This entire case is horrible and sad. I’m sorry for your family’s loss.

    • sherri 2 years ago

      Thank you for your kind note. Please continue the conversation and if you have a chance please write to the Chief of Police, State Attorney, and the Attorney General requesting for Keiths case to be reclassifed with MCPD and the death certificate to reflect the evidence which is that this is not a suicide.

      Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich
      Executive Office Building
      101 Monroe Street, 2nd Floor
      Rockville, MD 20850
      (240) 777-0311
      FAX: (240) 777-2517

      Montgomery County, Maryland
      State’s Attorney’s Office
      ATTN: John McCarthy
      50 Maryland Avenue, 5th Floor, North Tower
      Rockville, MD 20850
      Office: (240) 777-7300 Fax: (240) 777-7413

      The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
      410.333. 3225.

      Montgomery County Council
      Stella B. Werner Council Office Building
      100 Maryland Avenue
      Rockville, MD 20850
      (240) 777-7900
      MD Relay 711 or (800) 201 – 7165
      FAX: (240) 777-7888

      Maryland Attorney General
      Brian Frosh
      200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202

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