Cayman Naib’s Death Ruled a Suicide

The medical examiner has determined that the Newtown Square middle schooler died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Delaware County Medical Examiner’s office has released its findings today of the autopsy of 13-year-old Cayman Naib, the eighth-grade Shipley student who went missing last Wednesday night. Naib was found yesterday near his family’s property, facedown in a creek bed, covered in snow. It appeared he might have fallen and hit his head after climbing over a wall, but he was also found with a firearm, complicating the forensic picture. Now the death has been attributed to a “single perforating gunshot wound to the head”; the autopsy clearly states that Cayman “shot self in head in an outdoor/wooded area.”

The Finding Cayman Facebook page was updated almost immediately after the boy’s body was found by Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue, led by chief Mark G. Hopkins. It is now a Celebrating Cayman page with almost 3,000 comments from strangers and family alike responding to the news of the boy’s death. The latest message there reads:

For those who have been following the Naib family’s sad and incredibly devastating news, we have just learned from the medical examiner’s office that Cayman took his own life. The cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. The gun was taken from the home. The police have informed us that despite being fitted with a trigger lock, the gun was still able to be fired. He was found near the 3400 block of St. David’s Road. His death likely occurred in the early evening of Wednesday, March 4, 2015. We were told that he did not suffer.

No words can adequately express the Naib family’s pain and sadness at this news. The family has asked that the community respect their need for privacy at this very difficult time as they mourn the loss of their son and support their daughter.

The family would like to reiterate their profound gratitude and appreciation for all the thousands of friends, family, community, law enforcement, local, county, and federal, search and rescue, fire departments, the school communities – especially Shipley and Episcopal Academy – and even perfect strangers who came out to volunteer, supported them with prayers and good wishes, and have loved them through this heartbreaking ordeal. Their only solace throughout these past few days has been the closure they have received from the community’s efforts to find Cayman.

The Naib family is in the process of determining the best way to celebrate Cayman’s life and will inform the community once those arrangements have been scheduled. In the interim, the family has transformed the “Find Cayman” Facebook page to “Celebrating Cayman,” a place for friends, family, and the community to share their special thoughts, stories, and memories of Cayman.

As you can appreciate, there will be no further comment from the family on this subject.

A vigil was held last night at Cayman’s school, which is also providing bereavement counseling for students. Head of School Steve Plitch called Cayman’s death “every parent’s worst nightmare.”

For confidential support if you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Learn about the warning signs of suicide at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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