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The unsolved case of Keith Warren, a 19-year-old young Black man who was found hanging from a tree in 1986, will be at the center of a new docuseries and podcast, The Root has exclusively learned.
Per a press release sent, the series—titled Uprooted—comes from Discovery+ and NowThis and is set to chronicle Warren’s horrifying death in Silver Spring, Maryland, and his family member’s quest for justice.
“Never thoroughly investigated, Keith Warren’s sister Sherri has spent 35 years seeking the truth about what happened to her brother. Fighting systemic corruption at every turn, her end goal is to change Keith’s death certificate to reflect the truth. Featuring interviews with Keith Warren’s friends and family as well as both active and retired law enforcement, forensic experts, eyewitnesses and private investigators, Uprooted includes never-before-reported support for the probability Keith Warren did not die by suicide.”
Added Executive Producer of NowThis Originals Matt McDonough,“This docuseries is the culmination of a years-long effort at NowThis to shed light on the true circumstances behind Keith Warren’s tragic death, and amplify the voice of his sister Sherri who has fought tirelessly for justice. We’re proud to partner with Discovery to tell this important story that has gone unseen and unheard, and to continue to illuminate vital issues like corruption and racial injustice – issues with which our audience is deeply engaged.”
Uprooted premieres Feb. 18 on Discovery+.
Apologies are hard to come by, but are necessary. I saw the special on Discovery+ and I lived in the DMV when the case happened and I still do now. I will keep you and your family in my prays. Justice will prevail.
I came across this case via the docuseries on Discovery+ & was so disturbed by the continued lack of admission of at LEAST of a faulty investigation by law enforcement. As a lifelong resident of the DMV & present 20+ year resident of the DC-Baltimore corridor area, I am grieved & disturbed by the immediate treatment & faulty investigation of this case by the police department, the decades of subsequent unwillingness to admit their failure, & the present-day continued unwillingness by the medical examiner’s office to pursue the necessary process to change the cause of death to undetermined. If there is anything we as the public can do, please let us know. I will keep watch on this website for updates & in hopes that this docuseries causes progress in your fight.
I watched the Uprooted documentary and am horrified that you are still unable to, at the very least, get Keith’s death certificate updated to “undetermined” (also horrified by many other blatantly obvious injustices and the mishandling regarding your brother’s case that your family continue to deal with and face). It is absolutely outrageous that “new evidence” would be needed to reclassify something that was listed incorrectly from the beginning. I feel like the officials are afraid of any potential lawsuit regarding wrongdoing were they to change anything on record. If any one of them were to admit “wrongdoing” officially, it sets them all up to fall in the wake of a lawsuit.
Can you or have you seen the police documents regarding Keith’s case? If not, and according to the chief this is a closed case with no new evidence, you should be able to petition to see your brothers police file. I know there were documents shown on the documentary, but I was not sure if that was the whole police record.
When and where was it ever procedure for the police to choose a funeral home and to immediately embalm without proper family identification of the deceased and/or explicit family directives on how to proceed with body preparation (religious preference, cremation)? I know it was 1986, but it was not 1886 either. And no autopsy, regardless of “probable suicide” per the police?! Show me where that’s protocol.
If you are able, I would sue them all. At the very least, the death certificate needs changed after 36 years! But there are multiple errors made by multiple people/departments that should definitely be questioned and answered for. It is not about money, as in a settlement, at this point. It’s about accountability. They should all be made to be held accountable for their actions and inactions. These are “seemingly” public offices that these people hold and they did not and are not doing their job, unless it’s “passing the buck” onto the next person (call the ME, call the PD, call the…etc.).
I know that did not have DNA in 1986, but I immediately thought that rope could have been used to test for DNA had it been preserved (who would know you needed to, after it was immediately returned due to zero investigation). Also, I do not think the tree was ever taken as evidence, therefore it never burned in a facility fire. I feel like the tree was cut down immediately so that no more questions could be raised (“they” hoped). Testing or reconstruction could have taken place on that, as well (the limbs, which way the rope pulled, the weight bearing ability, etc.). Of course, that’s just speculation at this point, but why would you take a tree into evidence for a case you deemed a suicide and did not conduct any other type of investigation for. There are so many missed opportunities due to police negligence. And no one has an explanation for the only autopsy, conducted years later, showing no signs of neck trauma and/or petechial hemorrhage?! Regardless if you try to explain away the solvents as a mysteriously added embalming agent, how can you explain no signs of hanging?!
I am so sorry for your family losses and all that you’ve had to and continue to endure. Your family seems like a wonderfully supportive one! And what a great daughter and sister you are to continue to fight no matter the cost (personally and monetarily).
I see that you have listed some offices to contact above on another comment. I will absolutely contact those you mentioned. This has gone on way too long! I pray for some resolution and movement on the case, some measure of justice for Keith, your mom and your family! Stay hopeful! Keep fighting! I see you and I hear you Sherri!