Missouri Activist Melissa McKinnies Says Son Danye Jones' Death Was Not a Suicide: 'They Lynched My Baby'
Danye Jones' family says the 24-year-old, who was found hanging from a tree, did not take his own life, as police have said.
A Missouri mom is disputing police claims that her son took his own life, instead calling his death a lynching.
Melissa McKinnies’ 24-year-old son, Danye Jones, was found hanging from a tree in the backyard of their Spanish Lake home on Oct. 17.
St. Louis County Police told InsideEdition.com that the death is being investigated as a suicide, but the family doesn't think that's what happened.
“They lynched my baby,” the mother wrote in a emotional Facebook post that has since been deleted, CBS News reported.
Police and McKinnies both said a chair was found near Jones’ body.
McKinnies’ brother, Daniel Muhammad, told InsideEdition.com that Jones was definitely not suicidal at the time of his death.
“He wasn’t suffering from any depression,” Muhammad said. “The night before, he left that night with a bag like he was going out somewhere.”
The family later found that bag left on the porch, he added.
Muhammad also said the sheet Jones was found hanging from was not a sheet from their home and was tied in “military-style” knots, something he said Jones would not know how to tie.
Jones' mother found him in the backyard the next morning and the family took him down, Muhammad said.
“We want the police to look deeper into it,” Muhammad said “The whole thing is still fresh.”
Jones and his mother were active in the Ferguson protests after the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown, and Jones' family thinks the deaths may be linked to their activism.
The family claims that in the months before Jones' death they had received death threats and had seen random cars parked outside their home.
Muhammad said McKinnies did not report the incidents to police because she “didn’t think it would make a difference,” but added that she believes their family is being targeted.
The deaths of two Ferguson protesters, DeAndre Joshua and Darren Seals, remain unsolved. Both were found shot and killed inside torched vehicles, one in 2014 and the other in 2016.
Jones' family is set to hold a press conference Thursday.
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