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Activist mom of Missouri man says her son was lynched. The police say it was suicide.

A Missouri man was found dead, hanging from a tree on Oct. 17. The police said it was suicide. His mother said it wasn't. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

The family of 24-year-old Danye Jones called police Oct. 17 and reported that he'd hanged himself, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Except Jones' mother, Melissa McKinnies, reported on social media that her son had been lynched and insisted that her son had not killed himself.

What are the details?

Police found Jones in the early morning of Oct. 17 hanging from a tree in his backyard with a bedsheet knotted around his neck.

McKinnies — a prominent activist — in a since-deleted Facebook post, wrote, "They lynched my baby," and shared a graphic photo, the Post-Dispatch reported.

She wrote, "This is what I woke up to! They lynched my baby. My first time seeing these photos. If you have a weak stomach, don't look, but this mother wants justice after I get up. I'm sick and losing my mind, but I had to let the world see what they did to my baby!"

The Post-Dispatch reported that McKinnies previously helped organize protests in the wake of the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and had been subjected to threats since.

McKinnies was also reportedly worried that someone would try to kill her son.

She said that her son did not have suicidal tendencies and did not know how to tie the knots that were utilized in the makeshift noose. She noted that the bedsheet used in Jones' hanging also didn't come from the family home.

"If you're out there, and you had something to do with my son's, my child's, death, the murder, the lynching of Danye ... Jones, you better start turning in on your folks," McKinnies said.

Notably, Jones reportedly had packed an overnight bag, which had been left outside. McKinnies said that Jones may have been leaving the home with someone he trusted.

McKinnies noted that her son also had "various marks and indentations" on his body, as well as bruises, according to KMOV-TV.

"He was not suicidal at all," McKinnies said.

According to KMOV, St. Louis County Police believed Jones' death was a suicide and noted that there were no signs of trauma on the body, nor did there appear to be a struggle.

The cause of death is pending toxicology report results. McKinnies plans to visit the St. Louis County Justice Center in Clayton, Missouri, in order to stage a protest, demanding that investigators look at the case as a homicide.

St. Louis County spokesperson Shawn McGuire told CBS News that law enforcement is investigating a suicide, not a murder at this point.

"Detectives, based on all the physical evidence and the current thorough investigation, they are investigating it as a suicide," McGuire said.

According to KMOV, both Jones’ family and law enforcement said that there was a chair near Jones' body.



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