News » Crime

Was LGBTQ Teen's Death Suicide? Mother Says No Way and Demands Answers

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday May 6, 2021
Originally published on May 6, 2021

A Massachusetts mother denies that her LGTBQ daughter committed suicide, and says police won't listen to her fears that the 16-year-old girl was murdered. Her story - shared on social media - has generated an outcry. Among the online allegations is a tweet from an advocacy group that purports the mother said police warned her they would out her daughter if she pursued her inquiries.

But that has not deterred Calvina Strothers, the mother of 16-year-old Mikayla Miller. Strothers has stated herself that Miller was a member of the LGBTQ community, and she's sticking to her claims of official indifference to her concerns.

The allegation that police warned of Miller's posthumous outing seems only to appear in a tweet posted by Violence in Boston, Inc. The group shared what it said was a statement from "Mikayla's mother".

"My daughter was jumped by a group of kids on Saturday April 17th, 2021, and was then murdered hours later in Hopkinton, tied to a tree and left," the tweeted statement read.

"The state police did NOT conduct an investigation or speak to the persons involved," the statement goes on to say, before adding that one state trooper "warned me not to go to the media or else my daughters 'sexuality' will be exposed. Well I did. and they will not cover up her murder."

"Everything about this case says that something is being hidden, and it does not feel good," explained Monica Cannon-Grant, who is with Violence in Boston, Inc., according to The Blaze. "Mikayla was found tied to a tree, standing on her feet with a belt wrapped around her neck."

"Initially, the Middlesex County District Attorney's office labeled Miller's death as non-suspicious, and Strothers said police privately told the family it was a suicide," The Daily Beast reports.

Outrage grew as the story circulated. At a May 4 press conference, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said that the investigation is ongoing, and promised an "accounting of what led to her death. You have my word as your district attorney and as a mother, that I will deliver that answer," the Daily Beast recounted.

"Ryan said Hopkinton Police were dispatched to Miller's home just after 7 p.m. on April 17" following a call to the police from Strothers about the fight Miller had gotten into. Five teens were reportedly present at the altercation, which the Daily Beast said took place after "a dispute on Facebook."

The confrontation became physical "between Miller and two teenagers — a boy and girl," according to Ryan's press release remarks. Ryan also "said that Miller had a romantic relationship with one of the girls in the group," The Daily Beast reported.

Strothers insisted in a Facebook post that her daughter was not suicidal, and wrote, "I need your help in bringing attention to this situation so that this will not swept under the rug."

Strothers also started a GoFundMe page at which she noted that her daughter "identified as LGTQIA," and claimed that "instead of answers, the response from the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, State Police and the Hopkinton Police has been the exact opposite: disrespect, slammed doors, misdirection, glaring inconsistencies, extreme confusion, and ultimately, silence."

The GoFundMe post added: "We demand an independent investigation. Mikayla and our family deserve so much better."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.