KEY POINTS

  • An African American teen died by hanging in a Houston county on June 16
  • A day before, the police was investigating the death of a man who allegedly hung himself in the same county
  • There's an increased interest in death by hanging of people of color amid potential lynching cases of two black men in California

An African-American teenager was found hanging in an elementary school in Houston, Texas, a day after the police found another man who died by hanging in the same county.

Emergency responders at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office were alerted to a person hanging from a tree at the playground of the Ehrhardt Elementary School on Tuesday (June 16) at 8 p.m. (9 p.m. ET). They tried to revive the teenager but could not save him.

A statement from the sheriff's office revealed the unnamed 17-year-old had a history of attempted suicide. Preliminary investigations pointed to the absence of a foul play. The investigators were also able to review footage from the school's surveillance camera, as well as talk to the teenager's neighbors to determine his hanging was a suicide.

tied-up-1792237_1920 Incidents of death by hanging have been increasing in the last few weeks but foul play was absent in some of these cases. Photo: Pixabay

The incident occurred a day after county police responded to a call about a man hanging from a tree in a Houston neighborhood Monday (June 15). According to ABC 7, videos of the incident were posted online and many thought he was African American.

The sheriff's office, however, confirmed the man was Hispanic, and, according to his family, suicidal. His body was found at 9 a.m. (10 a.m. ET) and authorities determined no foul play in his death.

These two incidents come as the FBI has been investigating recent deaths by hanging in California. Robert Fuller, 24, and Malcolm Harsch, 38, were both African Americans who were found hanging in trees in neighborhoods 60 miles apart from each other.

Friends and family members of Fuller, who died June 10, don't believe he could take his life and called for a wider investigation into his case for potential lynching.

The police initially said there was no foul play on Harsch's death on March 31, but will now review the case, following Fuller’s death.

"The FBI, U.S. Attorney's office for the Central District of California and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division are actively reviewing the investigations into the hanging deaths of two African American men in the cities of Palmdale and Victorville to determine whether there are violations of federal law," the FBI said in a statement issued Monday (June 15).