Is this really a Suicide?

Is this really a suicide?

Keith Warren on tree 1-1- with text-web large

Today I’m filled with emotions that could go left or right. Today marks the 30th anniversary of when we think Keith died. I apologize in advance for the images you are about to see but I need you to understand my frustration, aggravation, irritation, and pain of not understanding how a competent law enforcement agency could label this as a suicide. The images are of Keith when he was found on the tree taken by the Montgomery County Maryland Police Department show that there is more to the story than what the lead detective wanted my family to believe. I will not make this a long post but what I will do is allow you to make your own determination:

1. Feet are on the ground in a sitting position.
2. Hands are balled up in a fist as if he were in a fight.
3. Rope is tangled around his shirt collar. So I guess Keith in his rush to kill himself got his collar tangled up?
4. Tongue is protruding on the side of cheek as if he were laying down and then hoisted up.

How can the Montgomery County Maryland Police Department continue to believe that there is nothing wrong here and that this was a suicide? How could they allow my mother to suffer for 23yrs knowing in her heart that someone killed her only son? How could the lead detective lay his head down every night with a clear conscious? How could the lead detective go on with his life while the justice system in Montgomery County Maryland destroyed my mom’s? How can a just and fair legal system allow this to continue and not acknowledge that there is something very wrong here?


  1. Donna 8 years ago

    My condolences Sherry . . this year and every past year . . I would like to share this with you . . I am a true crime fanatic, always googling cases, cold cases, etc. As I am laying on my bed, I come across an article that kind of “freaked me out” . . . unbelievably similar circumstances of Keiths death . . of a young man named Andre Roland in Columbia, MO . . that was found near his home, hanging, knees bent, etc At first I thought I may be reading about Keith . . then I shook my head a bit and thought “whoaaaa” . . Google his name and look for the article that was in Jet magazine, issue dated April 24, 1989, Vol. 76, No.3, ISSN-0021-5996 . . page 52 . . it would be very interesting if you found identical names of police staff/detectives that handled this case AND Keith’s . . there really isn’t much about this case that I have found on line, but I know you are savvy when it comes to digging for research . . please respond so I know you got this post . . Donna from S.S., MD

    • sherri 8 years ago

      I found the article. Thank you for the information… I have to work on a plan to see if there are any similarities to Keith case. That would be such a coincidence if there are some of the same players.

      • Donna 8 years ago

        I do believe some of Andre Roland’s records will be available to the public . . I do not know if this info will be helpful in any way, but you never know . . even getting in touch with his family may be a blessing, both families knowing EXACTLY how the other feels, swapping strategies, etc. Your brothers death and all the strange doings surrounding it are never far from my mind . . I continue to send prayers up for some resolution, conclusion to the injustice of it all . . Keith is/was very blessed to have you as his sister . . next thought is to get a bulletin board posted in Silver Spring saying “Who killed my brother?” . . costly, maybe . . but life is funny, maybe by walking in to company and sharing your story, they might set one up for free? I will pray on that! Keep us all posted on your plight . . the detective in me wants this tragedy solved!!

        • sherri 8 years ago

          I agree about getting the information public. That is my goal with the FB page because I know his so called friends and more than likely killer or killers troll his page. My want is for someone to have a come to Jesus moment and tell the story and bring closure to my family. Im still waiting on the decision from MCMPD concerning my request to open an official investigation into Keiths death and support my efforts to reclassify the death as either homicide or undetermined.

    • Mechelle 7 years ago

      Hello Andre was my cousin and when I was a little girl I seen the article in a Jet magazine that my grandmother kept, she received them every month but this one was different. I didn’t know why it stayed in her room on her dresser for so many years. So then one day I was looking through it and ran across the article. I asked my grandmother were we related to him then she told me that was my Uncle’s first son. She said I met him when i was a baby so I don’t remember much. I’m 38 now and seeing what’s been going on made me think of the article again. I’ve been searching and just can’t find anything on it. I wanted to share this with my kids and let them know that these things still exists.

      • sherri 7 years ago

        Sending my condolences to you and your family.

      • Victoria Cox 3 years ago

        Mechelle, I would love to get in touch with you. I’m a reporter with a Journalism degree from the University of Missouri and I came across Andre’s story and I was inspired to get justice and investigate. What’s the best way I can contact you?

        • sherri 3 years ago

          I don’t know how to get in touch with “Mechelle”

  2. Abby 8 years ago

    I just saw your family’s tragic story on unsolved mysteries. I’m very sorry for your loss. I’m sure, in all these years without answers, you’ve investigated backwards(?), looking at every officer (not only those involved at the crime scene) but in the department, who might have any family (children, cousins, niece or nephews, that might somehow have been an acquaintance of your brother. A motive for the police department (or certain members thereof) to cover up a horrible accidental wrong, or a malicious intentional attack by someone related to a person in a powerful enough position to achieve this level of coordinated deception. Nothing else makes sense. There are many unanswered questions, but 2 things are glaringly clear; 1) your brother was placed in that tree after his death. And 2) the police involved in the case- lied, manipulated evidence, and covered up the truth to protect someone.
    They also, very likely, killed someone else who knew the truth and was about to talk. Be very careful in your investigation. It may not even be an officer of the law relation. It may be a political figure family member who either accidentally, or willfully, had some connection to the wrong doing and had the power to call in a “favor”.
    I lost my older brother in 1989 to a house fire, he had just turned 19. We have no unanswered questions about Matthew’s death but the pain and loss you and yours have suffered is shared just the same.
    I’ll say a prayer that your questions get answers and that, long overdue, justice is served. Lighting a candle for Keith, may he rest in peace. Peace also be with you and yours.

    • sherri 8 years ago

      Please accept my condolences on your lost. As you know the loss is something you live with for a lifetime. Thank you for your prayers and candle. I will remain faithful that the truth will come to light.

  3. Patricia 8 years ago

    First, my deepest condolences for your tragic loss. I’ve been following this case since it aired o Unsolved Mysteries and it has deeply disturbed me all of these years. I deep in my heart believe that your brother was lynched. There is another young man, Lennon Lacy (17) who in 2014 was found hanging in a trailer park in NC, under suspicious circumstances. Like Keith, he was wearing someone else’s shoes; his death was ruled a suicide. &

    Was there any KKK activity in your area?

    • sherri 8 years ago

      There was some reported activity, however I believe it was some one Keith was familiar with that took his life.

      • Patricia 8 years ago

        Do you suspect a particular individual?

        • sherri 8 years ago

          My apology for responding so late… I do suspect several people however with the way the detective and investigating officer handled the investigation by not looking into the change of clothing, cutting the tree down and loosing the noose, it makes it very difficult to find out the truth. The ones I believe know something always threatens to sue every time my mom would mention their names.

          • Justice 8 years ago

            Why do you suspect those persons? Retain an attorney at the Cochran Firm: (202) 682-5800.

          • sherri 8 years ago

            I have made several attempts to retain legal representation, however Im continuously told I have no case.

          • sherri 8 years ago

            I suspect those who made the 911 call from the house the paramedic was sent to have knowledge as to what happen to Keith. If you read the statement from the paramedic there were several questionable actions by the occupants of the residence as well as the police never questioned any of the occupants. To take a step further one of the occupants although he knew Keith would not identify Keith and did not want his name on the police report. This is the same individual who threatens to sue us every time his name is mention in relation to Keith. My main issue with Montgomery County Maryland Police department is I cannot get a straight answer to my question, “What at 1:30(?) on the afternoon of July 30th did the investigating detective see at the crime scene to justify this as a suicide?”

  4. David 7 years ago

    Hi Sherri,

    I just wanted to offer my sincere condolences from over here in England for your loss and my sincere sympathy for the anger and frustration you must feel to be prevented from receiving an answer to your questions. I came across this unfortunate case on casefiles podcast and after looking into it, I truly don’t understand how this level of incompetence was accepted by the police department in question. The 911 call strikes me as being very strange considering the circumstances around the events once the paramedics arrived and find it mind boggling that these individuals were not questioned at length. There is also something about Officer Leverette and his reluctance to look into this, as well as the lies that were told throughout the whole process by the police department. I can’t even begin to imagine how tough this was on you and your family, I hope that in time you’ll be able to find answers and then peace. Reading all the reports from the impartial medical examiners, I can’t believe that this was a suicide.

    • sherri 7 years ago

      Thank you for you kind note. I believe there are more victims and their families that have suffered from the lack of professionalism due to the lack of care/concern from Detective Beasley and Officer Leverette. Beasley did everything in his power to make sure that there would be no evidence to reference back too and MCMPD allowed this blatant act of coverup to hide the truth as to how Keith got on the tree.

  5. Calvin 7 years ago

    Hi Sherri,

    I’m so sorry for your loss and have my sincere condolences. Like the other people who followed this case on Unsolved Mysteries, I feel like the people Keith hung around did this. I also believe that it could be political because around the same year two high school students were found dead on the railroad tracks. It was later revealed the area they were in was a drug drop and the two boys Don Henry and Kevin Ives were murdered for that reason and the case went unsolved for years. I sometimes feel like this case could be related without the drug part and that someone knows something. There’s always a saying in the government world if you screw up you cover up and I believe that’s what Montgomery police did. I really hope you get the justice you deserve and bring closure to this case.

    • sherri 7 years ago

      Thank you. I really appreciate your note and I will look into any connection with Mr. Ives and Mr. Henry to Keith.

  6. Racquelle Partee 5 years ago

    Interesting I ran into this article, my brother Andre was found in prayer position in front of a tree that was shorter than himself, the branch the belt was looped on was smaller than his ??… Many facts and people he was with that day was never interviewed, and were turned around when they went to offer statements. Instead of investigating they closed the homicide as a suicide.

  7. Luke Gowan 5 years ago

    Hello there,

    I lived in Columbia.MO and Andre Roland was found in the woods behind my house. We were good friends, played basketball, football together with the rest of the neighborhood. Never believed what they said happened. I can still hear his Mom’s wailing as she walked down the hill to verify it was him. I hope there is some way to bring peace about for both families and many others that have experienced tragedies like this.

    • sherri 5 years ago

      thank you for your message. I will continue to fight the good fight for my mom and brother for Justice and Accountability. Happy 20/20

  8. LaToya B. 2 years ago

    I heard about your brother’s murder while listening to you on the radio about a month ago. You were on The Breakfast Club. Initially I was intrigued because listening to you it was so obvious, even before seeing any pictures, that there was foul play involved. I listened to you on the radio that day and made a mental note when I returned home to watch the documentary but you know how it goes with life and kids you forget things. Well today I saw the advertisement of your documentary on a Facebook ad and it reminded me that I had not watched the documentary. I googled his name and this site came up.
    I’m no Forensic Pathologist but I do watch ALOT of crime tv and a few things came to mind when I looked at the pictures of your brother’s crime scene.
    1. Looking at the ground and foliage around his feet appear to be undisturbed. Well anyone who’s attempted suicide will say their body thrashed around in the fist few moments of hanging which would be the body’s automatic response.
    2. The way the rope is on your brothers neck where are the strangulation marks or the bruising from the rope tightening around his neck. Once again people who have attempted suicide have claw marks, and bruising from attempting to stop the suicide when it starts. In your brother’s case he could’ve just stood up.
    3. His legs are stretched out in front of him. That’s an unusual position for someone who’s attempting to end their life. Why not find a higher tree? He seemed young and able bodied to climb a tree high enough to do what was needed if he was attempt suicide.
    4. While the tongue being out of his mouth is indicative of suicide it could also be indicative of asphyxiation and we know that could happen with so many other things.
    5. His clothing is disheveled in a way as you stated he would’ve been in a rush to hang himself. Your out in the woods alone why would you be in a rush.

    I pray you get the answers you deserve because this was a huge miscarriage of Justice.

    I’ve from Virginia and there was a similar case in Newport News I’m the mid to late 90s where a young man was hanging from some swings with his own belt and they police deemed it suicide but he was basically hanging with his knees on the ground and undisturbed dirt under how with a dark stain on the ground the police state was urine but was never tested to see if it was blood. All of which happened after several people witnessed the police threaten his life hours before he was found dead. Another miscarriage of justice.

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