Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker weighed in for the first time Thursday on the investigation into the death of Hopkinton teen Mikayla Miller.
Mikayla died from asphyxia by hanging, according to a death certificate filed by the Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, obtained Tuesday. The 16-year-old was found suspended from a tree near a town path on the morning of April 18, according to a search warrant.
Her mother, Calvina Strothers, has rejected the medical examiner's recent determination that Mikayla died by suicide, calling it instead a homicide as she continues to push for an independent investigation.
"I know the truth, and it's not what they say," Strothers said Wednesday during a virtual news conference with prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump and advocates from Boston and around the country.
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During an appearance Thursday on GBH News' Boston Public Radio with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan, Baker was asked if he supports calls for an independent investigation.
"The whole story associated with this is just a terrible tragedy on so many levels in so many ways," the governor said. "I feel awful for her, her family and her friends, and I think everybody's view on that needs to start there. I certainly support getting to the bottom of it."
Baker said he's worked with Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan in the past and has a great deal of respect for her integrity. Under the law, he said the only person who has the authority to pursue a separate investigation or take the investigation from the district attorney is Attorney General Maura Healey.
"Look, I would support whatever it takes to get to the bottom of this and give a grieving family confidence that their daughter's life has been treated with the grace and kindness and respect that it deserves," he said. "If that's where people think we need to go, then yeah, I would support that."