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Investigation Launched into Death of Lennon Baldwin

Morris County Prosecutor's Office announced Friday the launch of investigation into 15-year-old Township resident's death on March 28.

has made a crisis team available to help its community deal with the death of 15-year-old student Lennon Baldwin, from Morris Township. 

Principal Linda Murphy said the school has been getting "a lot of support from the community for our staff and students." She said the Morris Township Police Department is investigating the death, and referred questions there. Patch has not yet been able to contact police about the incident.

School officials posted the following notice to the high school's web page Thursday:

To Parents/Guardians:

The Morristown High School community was saddened to learn of the sudden death of one of our students, Lennon Baldwin. The death of any young person is a loss which, in one way or another, diminishes each of us. We have asked the assistance of the crisis team to help our school community deal with this loss. We are doing everything we can to help your child and our staff through this tragic experience. Please be aware that your child may have more questions and may want to talk about the incident at home.

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s response to this loss, please call the Guidance Office at 973-292-2000 ext. 2130 during normal school hours. The school nurse, a school counselor, or one of the crisis team members will be available to assist you. Outside of school hours you may call the Youth Helpline at 888-222-2228 or the Atlantic Behavioral Health Crisis Hotline at 973-540-0100 for support.

We have been informed that a prayer service for Lennon will be held at Assumption Church, 91 Maple Avenue in Morristown on Friday, March 30th at 4 PM.

Condolences for Lennon's loved ones filled Twitter Thursday and Friday. A friend of Lennon's posted this video to YouTube, speed-drawing Lennon, as a tribute. In his caption on YouTube, the friend writes: "Lennon was a great kid. he was hilarious and always had a way of putting a smile on your face. he was easy to talk to and just a great guy all around. Its sad to know he left so sudden, but I know hes in a better and safer place. I'm sure he'll be watching down on his friends and family."

Morris School District Superintendent Thomas Ficarra issued a statement Friday afternoon regarding Lennon's death, extending his condolences to the Baldwin family.

"I have met with Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi and his command staff, along with Morris Township Chief Dennis Reilly and Morristown Police Department Chief Peter Demnitz concerning the investigation into the death of one of our students," Ficarra wrote. "The Morris School District appreciates the aggressive law enforcement investigation being conducted and will remain fully cooperative in any manner requested.

"The Morris School District will not be making any further comment on this matter so as to not compromise law enforcement’s investigative process," he said. 

The Morris County Prosecutor's Office issued a release Friday afternoon, confirming its investigation–in collaboration with the Morris Township and Morristown police departments–into Lennon Baldwin's death.

"The incident took place in the student’s residence in Morris Township on March 28," according to the press release. The incident is being jointly investigated by the Morris County Prosecutor's Office Major Crime Unit, Juvenile Unit, Computer Crimes Unit, Morris County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Section and the Morris Township and Morristown police departments, according to the release.

"Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the family of the student as well as the entire school community," the release states. "The Morris School District has been very cooperative throughout the investigative process, which is greatly appreciated."  

The release goes on to encourage anyone with information to contact the Morris County Prosecutor's Office at 973-285-2900, Morris Township Police Department at 973-539-0777, Morristown Police Department at 973-538-2200 or the Morris County Sheriff's Office Crime Stopper Program at 973-COPCALL.

Patch invites the Morristown-area community to leave memories about Lennon and condolences in the comments section below. We ask commeters to refrain from making statements speculating as to the cause of his death until and unless a statement is released by authorities, out of respect for his family's privacy.

Patch also invites those who knew Lennon to contact Morristown Patch editor John Dunphy directly, to share thoughts and memories for an upcoming story. Email john.dunphy@patch.com or call 973-380-3206.

Amalia Duarte March 31, 2012 at 08:39 PM
This tragedy touches the entire Morris county community. My deepest condolences to the Baldwin family and all his grieving family and friends.
Dory Degen April 01, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I am shocked and saddened. Such a brief time on earth. But hopefully you can take some, if but a tiny bit of comfort knowing he touched many lives and made a difference. I am so very sorry.
Cara DePalma April 02, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Please give your son my condolences. It's so hard when young people lose a friend, but especially when one goes by his own hand too soon. Take care of your son, he will need your love,compassion and patience.
Cara DePalma April 02, 2012 at 06:36 PM
When you were in school, there was no Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. You could escape your "teasing" by going home and shutting your door; kids today can't. I worked with kids for 10 years and can attest that bullying is very real and nothing like being teased. All kids get teased, but not every kid is targeted and tormented by an individual or group that relentlessly persist in their bullying. Kids are afraid to say anything because they fear being bullied even more. And it isn't just "fragile" kids. Unlike adults, kids feel things in the moment-it's difficult to see beyond the hurt, embarrassment and humiliation of "now" and kids make decisions that are, unfortunately, final. Parents need to understand that kids in high school need them more than ever before; they may have more grown-up responsibilities, but they are not grown up. Keep teaching the lessons kids need to hear. Encourage them to stand up for kids being bullied, and never to bully themselves. But keep in mind, they will mimic what you do, so your actions have to match your words. Lennon and his family will remain in my prayers.
JuliannaSmith April 11, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Bullying in any form or fashion due to race, sexuality, gender or anything has to cease. A suicide at any age is indeed terrible, but when someone commits suicide due to bullying about his sexual orientation, it definitely hits home. A number of subsequent suicides has struck the hearts and minds of many Americans, including myself. As a parent the most important thing is my child's safety. This blog covers how a mother is dealing with a heartbreaking experience and how you can better protect your kids. This is the link: http://www.tsue-thatswhatshesaid.com/2011/08/your-childs-safety-your-piece-of-mind.html

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