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Uprooted, a new docuseries from Discovery+ and NowThis, examines the 1986 hanging-ruled-suicide of Keith Warren in the mostly White suburb of Silver Spring, Maryland.
The case, after 36 years, still has more questions than answers.“My brother Keith Warren was found strung up on a tree,” Sherri Warren told WTOP. Sister of Keith, Sherri continued, “From 1986 to 2009 until she passed away, my mom was seeking answers as to how and why he ended up on the tree. From 2009 to current, I am still continuing to search for answers.”
When speaking of her mother who died while fighting for Keith, “All she wanted was for someone to listen to her. All she wanted was someone to acknowledge the fact that there was something wrong here.”
Streaming now on Discovery+, Uprooted revisits the tragedy and apparent mishandling of the case, according to the Warren family and on-scene witnesses. Sherri and her mother never believed Warren committed suicide. They claim there was no autopsy and evidence was lost or destroyed.
Police and county officials dispute any wrongdoings. For that reason, although police and prosecutors say the case has been re-investigated, changing the ruling is not possible unless new evidence is discovered. The Medical Examiner’s Office in Montgomery County has also declined to reopen the investigation.
Much like the case of Atlanta’s missing Black girls and women, police and city officials often lack investigative curiosity when it comes to Black victims. And that’s where Uprooted fills in the gap.
Yet, the purpose of getting the Uprooted docuseries out is not solely for awareness, but also for action. According to the family, the end goal is to change Keith’s death certificate and reclassify the case. Sherri Warren said she wants her brother’s death to be reclassified as either undetermined or a homicide.
“Just keep persevering, because the system wants to deflate you,” she said. “It wants to make you go away. Don’t go away. Don’t give them what they want. Keep fighting.”