Boy, 8, dies after hanging

TRENTON, N.J. - August 27, 2008 Wednesday night investigators said that, while the investigation conitinues, preliminary findings are showing that it appeared that the death of the child may have been accidental.

Neighbors on the 300 block of Woodland Street are trying to make sense of what happened.

8-year-old Malachi Williams was found by a 20-year-old woman who lives in his home just before 6:00 Tuesday night, hanging from a strap tied to a bannister at the top of the third floor steps.

Police say she took the boy downstairs, and gave him to his mom. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

An autopsy this afternoon found that Malachi died of acute asphyxiation by hanging.

Investigators say, before he was found, Malachi had been playing with his 10-year-old brother inside the house while his mother, Misty DeJesus, was on the front porch. Both are being interviewed by police to determine if the boy's death was homicide, suicide, or a terrible accident.

Neighbors are wondering if the boys may have been playing some dangerous game, unaware of the deadly consequences.

"Maybe he was playing something, he was doing something and it turned out bad," said neighbor Nadir Walker.

"I've got two littler brothers in the house, but they never played no game like that around me," said neighbor Jermaine Walker.

People here say their hearts go out to Malachi's mother.

"Shes very good with her kids. Everywhere she goes she takes her kids. Shes a great mother," said neighbor Tasha Walker.

They're also remembering a friendly little boy.

"He was nice to everybody that walked by," said neighbor Joe Werner. "Never had anything bad to say about them. He was just a good kid."

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