The body of a 72-year-old Black woman was found hanging from a tree in an Annapolis, Maryland neighborhood on Wednesday.
According to an Annapolis Police Department statement, the “unattended death” was discovered at 7:30 a.m. on November 3.
“On 11/3/2021 at approximately 7:30 a.m., officers from the Annapolis Police Department responded to the 600 block of Belle Drive for the report of an unattended death. When officers arrived, they located a 72-year-old female victim. Preliminary investigation reveals the incident does not appear to be criminal in nature. The victim’s identity is being withheld pending confirmation that the extended family has been notified.”
Although investigators don’t suspect foul play, one community activist isn’t sure that’s the case. Carl Snowden took to his Facebook page to give the public more detailed information concerning the victim. His post revealed that the older woman was Black.
“Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Annapolis Police officers just took down the deceased body of an African American woman. The unidentified woman was found hanging from a tree in the Annapolis Walk Community,” Snowden wrote.
Snowden and Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson’s quick action getting to the scene allowed them to offer the public a racial description of the deceased.
“Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. On the scene of a breaking story regarding the death of an African American woman. The location is Belle Drive in Annapolis. Alderwoman Sheila M. Finlayson is on the scene. More information will be forthcoming.”
While residents aren’t outraged at the moment, the woman’s determined cause of death will get an appropriate response, according to the activist.
The Capital Gazette reported that some students on their way to school saw the woman’s body because the Annapolis Walk Community serves as school bus stops for Mills-Parole Elementary, Annapolis Middle School and Annapolis High School.
“While walking to the bus stop this morning, some students may have witnessed a tragic scene involving the death of an adult individual,” Richard Rogers and Casey Hunt, principals of Mills-Parole Elementary and Annapolis Middle School, wrote in a letter to parents of students at the two learning institutions.
The last recorded lynching in the state was George Armwood in 1933.
Annapolis police are still investigating, but the situation does beg the question– how and why would a 72-year-old Black woman climb a tree to hang herself?