September 30, 2020
Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Acting Chief of Investigations Christoph Kimker, and Morris County Park Police Chief Gabe DiPietro announce that the investigation into the June 28, 2020 death of Amanual “Amani” Kildea, 20, of Washington Township, has concluded.
On June 28, 2020, law enforcement received a 9-1-1 call at approximately 2:47 p.m. The caller indicated that the body of a young black male was observed hanging from a tree just off a hiking trail in Lewis Morris Park in Morristown. First responders arrived to the scene and located the body of Amanual Kildea in a near seated position at the base of a tree, with a rope wrapped around his neck. This rope was connected to the tree approximately six-and-one-half feet from the ground, and Mr. Kildea’s body was partially suspended several inches off the ground. There were no indications of a struggle observed at the scene.
Subsequent investigation at the scene revealed Mr. Kildea’s wallet and cell phone to be in his pocket. Other personal items, including a laptop and backpack, were neatly placed near Mr. Kildea’s body. Mr. Kildea’s car was subsequently located in a parking lot at the Park.
Further investigation confirmed that Mr. Kildea had purchased the rope used in this incident from a Morris County home improvement center earlier on June 28, 2020. Mr. Kildea was alone at the time of purchase. Additional investigation revealed evidence that Mr. Kildea had conducted multiple internet searches related to suicide on June 28, 2020. The investigation did not reveal any evidence of criminality, nor is there any evidence of a connection between Mr. Kildea’s suicide and any other person or group.
The Morris County Medical Examiner performed a post-mortem examination on Mr. Kildea’s body. The manner of death was determined to be suicide. The Medical Examiner did not identify any trauma to Mr. Kildea’s body that was inconsistent with the manner of death.
While the Morris County Prosecutor does not ordinarily issue public statements containing specific details regarding suicide investigations, there has been a great deal of inquiry related to this investigation. As a result, now that the investigation has concluded, these details are being shared in order to provide as much transparency as possible. Moreover, the findings of this investigation have been shared with Mr. Kildea’s family. Out of respect and consideration for Mr. Kildea’s family, there will be no further comment on the details of this investigation.
The investigation was conducted by the Morris County Park Police, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, with assistance from the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, and in consultation with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, which concurs with the findings herein.