HOPKINTON (CBS) – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said there is no truth that her office has reached a final conclusion in the death of 16-year-old Mikayla Miller of Hopkinton. Ahead of a planned vigil in town, Ryan released more information from the hours leading up to Mikayla’s death.
Miller, a sophomore at Hopkinton High School, was found dead April 18, hanging from a tree along a trail off West Main Street which runs back to the apartments where she lived.READ MORE: Celebrating And Commemorating Juneteenth: Words From Local Lawmakers
In the days that followed her death, Mikayla’s mother fueled a social media firestorm with a post accusing police of turning a blind eye to the kids who she says bullied, ambushed, and murdered her daughter.
Watch: DA Marian Ryan Press Conference
It was a post that drew angry online support from people claiming the teen was “lynched” because she was Black, or gay, or both.
Marian Ryan said it is “patently false” that there is any kind of cover up in their investigation.
“From the beginning of this investigation, our investigators have been fully committed to determining exactly how Mikayla’s precious and promising life ended,” Ryan said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Ryan said the investigation includes interviews with dozens of witnesses, information from various electronic devices and surveillance video.
On Saturday evening, the day before Mikayla was found dead, she was involved in a physical confrontation at the clubhouse of her apartment building with four other juveniles. Hours later, police were called by Mikayla’s mom because she was “jumped.”
“When interviewed by the police, Mikayla reported that she had been pushed and punched in the face,” Ryan said.
Later that night, a health app on Mikayla’s phone showed that she walked 1,316 steps. Ryan said that is the approximate amount of steps between her home and where her body was found.
Ryan said cell phone data, surveillance images and toll information shows the teens from the earlier fight were not near the woods where Mikayla was found.
None of the teens involved in the prior altercation have any pending charges against them. Ryan said the teens spent about 20 minutes with Mikayla after the fight.
A cause and manner of death has not yet been received from the medical examiner.
“Nothing about what I have said brings Mikayla back or consoles her family as they grieve,” Ryan said. “What we can do, and what we really owe her, is an accurate and fulsome accounting of what happened and what led to her death.”READ MORE: Oil Spill Settlement To Fund Loon Conservation Projects
A vigil for Mikayla organized by the same group that has held Black Lives Matter rallies is now scheduled for Thursday at the Boston Marathon starting line. Ryan would not say if race played a role in the incident. “I think that what is clear is that this office has a very strong record of examining every case through a lens of racial justice and racial equity,” Ryan said.
On Tuesday night, town officials huddled for an emergency session, welcoming Thursday’s vigil while condemning those accusing authorities of turning a blind eye to everything from murder, to bully-induced suicide.
“It has turned our town into a circus,” said Hopkinton Select Board Chair Brendan Tedstone.
Hopkinton residents said they hope to attend the vigil to help the family and their town heal while acknowledging the remaining question marks make that tough.
“As a human being I just don’t know, I’m horrified and I just want answers,” said resident India Nolan.
When the investigation is concluded, the district attorney is pledging to make the majority of it public.
Town officials say they would like to make Thursday a celebration of Mikayla’s life but all the rumor and innuendo threaten to derail that.
Timeline released by Middlesex District Attorney:
• April 17, 2021 5:17 p.m.- 6:41 p.m.: Alleged physical altercation between Mikayla and two teenagers in recreation room of residential building on Revolutionary Way in Hopkinton
• April 17, 2021 7:20 p.m.: Hopkinton Police dispatched to Mikayla Miller’s home after her mother called to make a complaint her daughter was “jumped.” At that time, Mikayla reported being punched in the face and had blood on her lip, consistent with this report. The investigation into this physical assault remains open and there are no charges at this time.
• April 17, 2021 7:43 p.m.: Hopkinton Police dispatched to residence of one of the females involved in altercation and obtained statements from two of the females involved
• April 17, 2021 9:30 p.m.: Mikayla Miller allegedly is last seen by her mother
• April 17, 2021 9:00-10:00 p.m.: Forensic information gathered from health app on Mikayla’s cell phone reportedly tracked movement of 1,316 steps, roughly the same distance from her home to the location where her body was foundMORE NEWS: Connecticut Becomes 1st State To Make All Prison Phone Calls Free
• April 18, 2021 7:45 a.m.: A jogger in the area of 34 West Main Street in Hopkinton observed Mikayla Miller’s body located in the woods