The state medical examiner said Tuesday that Isaiah Perry, 8, of Eddington died by hanging, although whether it was accidental was still undetermined.

The child, a third-grader at Holden Elementary School, died Nov. 23.

“Based upon the circumstances surrounding his death, there is no definite indication of intentional self-harm,” Mark Belserene, administrator for the state Medical Examiner’s Office, said in an email. “Suicidal hanging is extremely rare in this age group. The death more likely represents an accidental hanging; however, since it is not possible to be sure of intent in this case, the manner of death is best certified as ‘undetermined.’ ”

Penobscott County Sheriff Troy Morton said his department is continuing its investigation.

Perry’s death shocked students and staff at Holden Elementary School, where he had entered as a student midway through his second-grade year. He died the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, as many families gathered for the holiday. The Friday after his death, his school held a gathering in his memory and opened for the day, providing grief counselors for staff, students and community members.

“Isaiah’s death is a sad and difficult occasion. … It was unexpected and tragic,” Regional School Unit 63 Superintendent Susan Smith wrote in a message posted to the district’s website. “Hold your loved ones just a bit closer and give them a hug.”

Holden Elementary School Principal Don Spencer remembered Isaiah as an outgoing little boy, a Cub Scout who played soccer and basketball.

“He was a well-liked kid,” Spencer said.


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