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24-year-old found lynched in backyard

by Bridgette Babb - Copy Editor
Tue, Nov 13th 2018 08:00 pm
A Life Lost Dayne Jones (above) was found hanged in a tree in the backyard of his home. His mother, an activist in Ferguson, took to Facebook to post a picture of her son's body. She is convinced it wasn't a suicide, but a racially motivated murder.
A Life Lost Dayne Jones (above) was found hanged in a tree in the backyard of his home. His mother, an activist in Ferguson, took to Facebook to post a picture of her son's body. She is convinced it wasn't a suicide, but a racially motivated murder.

A Ferguson, Missouri activist called out law enforcement after labeling her son’s death a suicide because she believes it was actually a lynching.

  In 2018 it is hard to believe African American men are being lynched, but activist Melissa McKinnies is adamant her son, Dayne Jones was not suicidal, his life was taken from him by someone else. According to CNN, Jones’ body was found on October 17, in a wooded area in Saint Louis county. McKinnes said family members found him hanging from a tree by a bedsheet with his pants to his ankles.

News of the alleged murder went viral when she posted a picture of the body as they found it, with the caption, “They lynched my baby,” to Facebook. Though Facebook quickly took down the image, it had already been shared by many people across social media sites, sparking confusion and outrage amongst the community. 

“4:51 a.m. and sick with grief, but ready to get up and fight for my baby,” McKinnes wrote in another post on Facebook. The #DayneJones Twitter hashtag gave people the opportunity to share the picture, voice their opinions and make sure the story had coverage and was not taken lightly. 

@Alyssacob tweeted, “Nobody is even talking. This man was murdered, lynched, just because he was black. It is 2018 people. They hung him in his mama’s back yard for her to see, they pulled his pants down to humiliate him like they did back in the jim crow days. This needs more attention.”

On November 2, another Tweet from   @dono read, “Can someone explain to me why there isn’t ANY coverage on this horrific tragedy? This occured two WEEKS AGO and this is my first time hearing about it. It’s 2018 and we’re still getting lynched. My heart is aching for a change...something has got to give.”

Saint Louis county police have ruled the death as a suicide for now, and  the actual cause of death may take up to several weeks to find out, according to business insider. Spokesman Shawn McGuire said there was no evidence of foul play found at the scene. McKinnes refuted that statement, saying her son was found with bruises on his face and his pants hanging down. 

McKinnes was heavily involved in the Ferguson marches in honor of Micheal Brown, a black man wrongfully killed by police. She believes Jones death is related to her activism, saying her son had a lot to live for and the family had been threatened before. 

“He did not [commit suicide]. He would not do that. A mother knows her son. A mother knows her child,” McKinnes said of the suicide reports to CNN

Jones was only 24, about to start his own real estate business. With such a long and fulfilling life ahead of him, the notion of suicide does not make sense to McKinnes. 

The family had received recent threats on social media, but did not report them because as mentioned before, it was not the first time. 

“They watch my house and when my husband and my son would approach the car, they would drive off,” she said.

McKinnes had no idea who those targeting her family were exactly, but she feels they play a part in the death of her son. Jones had bruises on his face and the sheets around his neck did not belong to the family. He had also been personally threatened days before his body was found. Although he did not release the source, McKinnes believes the threats are connected. 

This story is so sad because, whether he was killed or committed suicide, a young man lost his life. It is hard to believe no one in the community heard anything. Yes, he was found in the woods, but it wasn’t so deep that someone passing wouldn not get a glimpse of questionable activity, if they were looking that is. Prayers go out to the family, hopefully the county police do what they need to  and find the truth, so Dayne Jones can finally rest in peace.