Donté Perez Jones found hanging in Pennsylvania Park on Juneteenth

by Sydney Anderson
Donté Perez Jones found hanging in Pennsylvania Park on Juneteenth
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On June 17th, around 7:00 a.m., Donté Perez Jones, a Black Army veteran and father of three, was found hanging in a Pennsylvania park, and his death was ruled a suicide. However, family and friends suspect he was murdered since the facts and evidence do not add up with the ruling.

The Whitpain Police Department in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, informed LaTina Dean, Jones’ mother, that he had committed suicide and that the case was closed.

On June 16th, around 11:40 p.m., Jones was last seen visiting his mother. He lived in Delaware County, an hour from Blue Bell, where his body was found. According to his mother, Donte has no ties to Blue Bell. At about 9:30 a.m. the next day, Dean was notified about her son’s death by Sharon Hill Police. However, the death did not stop officers from opening the park, as they removed his body and had the park open for a 10:00 am event. 

When asked to view the body to determine if that was her son, Dean’s request was denied, as the Whitpain Detectives closed the case and ruled Jones’ death a suicide. However, she stated that this case should be treated as a murder and coverup. Not convinced that her son had taken his life, Dean requested an autopsy, but the coroner’s office declined since it was ruled a suicide.  

Family seeks justice after Juneteenth death in White Pennsylvania neighborhood

On June 17th, the family went to the Whitpain Police Department and was told the case was closed. However, they were still determined to get justice, and the next day, they began calling government officials, NAACP representatives, and state representatives.

The chief of the police department in Pennsylvania contacted LaTina to apologize and inform her that an autopsy and full investigation would be conducted. The Whitpain Township coroner’s office conducted a complete autopsy; however, they stated it would take many weeks before findings came back.

Many still have questions about Jones’ death, as they are still uncertain that he committed suicide. 

Dean stated on gofundme, “Why were the parents unable to identify the body to ensure that it is Donté? Why would Donté drive an hour away at 12 a.m. to an unknown township in the middle of the woods and use a back entrance to get to the park where there are no cameras they think he came to commit suicide?… IS IT NOT SUSPICIOUS THAT A BLACK MAN WAS FOUND HUNG IN A PREDOMINANTLY WHITE NEIGHBORHOOD ON JUNETEENTH WEEKEND???”

On Monday, the Whitpain Township Police Department put forth a statement concerning Donte’s passing, “The investigation into the death of Mr. Jones’s ongoing, and the Whitpain Police Department did not report that the investigation is closed.” 

To support the family’s GoFundMe, click here.


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Alicia Kramer Akers June 24, 2022 - 10:56 pm

Where did the mother live, why did he choose to go home so late at night, how far was it between her house and Delaware County where he lived and did the route he took home have him driving through Whitpain Township? All the articles does not include this info which makes it frustrating trying to pull together this story.

Sydney Anderson June 24, 2022 - 11:40 pm

If you read the article, all of your questions are answered. Donté was visiting his mother in Delaware County. Nobody knows why he was at Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, since he had no ties there, hence the mother’s concerns and worries. In the beginning of my article, I state that it is an hour away from where he lives. Please make sure you read the article carefully before commenting.

kk June 26, 2022 - 7:32 pm

First of all just because his family says he has no ties there doesn’t mean he actually didn’t. Would you tell your family all of your business?? He’s a grown man his parents aren’t gonna know everything about him.

Alicia Kramer Akers June 26, 2022 - 9:02 pm

No the article leaves a lot out. As does many others about the case. It’s not a criticism of the article. It’s the story that raises questions. Something doesn’t feel right (ie: what route does he typically use to go home from his mom’s house and does that include going thru the county he was found at). If that questions is answered in the article please let me know. Yes it is a tragedy and I pray they get to the bottom of it but the details especially about how he gets home regularly from mom’s just seem vague. Also KK does have a point…people often have lives that parents don’t always know about. If that county isn’t on his typical route, like way off, …there’s something amiss that needs to be addressed from that point on.

Alicia Kramer Akers June 26, 2022 - 9:09 pm

Also I reread the article and it does state that he was visiting his mom but you didn’t mention where she lived just that he lived in Delaware County. So we don’t know where he was coming from to get home and the possible route he took. Or even if Whitpain Township was near mom at all. *shrugs*

Diamond June 27, 2022 - 12:47 pm

Just forget it, if you’re still confused, you’re still confused. The friends and family of that man will know everything and do what they have to do.

Juan B June 27, 2022 - 8:38 pm

If it was my family nobody couldn’t tell me nothing. And the corner I wouldn’t used that’s for sure. There would be so much noise coming from me. Don’t give up family.

Mel June 28, 2022 - 9:19 am

Yes I agree Juan. It was a Red Flag for me with the rules of saying the mother couldn’t see her son to even identify his body. Because it was consider a suicide case. Never heard of that. I would have definitely pushed for that first along with.

Jeff Darden June 28, 2022 - 7:32 pm

I live a few clicks down the road from Whitpain Township. For anyone to infer this area is some kind of Dominant White area as if this denotes a KKK or Aryan Nation stronghold is simply laughable. Whitpain 40 years ago was 90% farmland. Today it is one of the more affluent areas, the farms sprouted a suburban La La land of highend shopping centers and housing.

I feel very bad for this fellow, he was obviously a family man, a husband, and a hard worker, but we don’t know what he was thinking or feeling. When I see suicides where there is seemly no reason behind such actions, it calls to mind the warnings concerning some pharmaceuticals. Warning: May cause thoughts of suicide, and host of other side effects.
We don’t know his metal state, was life overwhelming.
Very sad for the family, but let’s not jump to conclusions in an effort to create a controversy.

Ashley Buford June 29, 2022 - 3:00 am

My thing is why was it ruled a suicide? It’s the easiest answer and to get it over and done with. What gave the police or whomever ruled it an suicide an inkling that it was a suicide. I know of plenty cases where suicides are investigated. All the other bull about the town and so forth is all bull. That man was killed period. I’ve always believed if you smell something fishy that’s exactly what it is fishy.

Rasil July 1, 2022 - 8:42 am

It is a dominantly white area so stop the false narrative. I live near this community. Red flags for everyone should immediately appear and the mother must take swift action and obtain the best attorney possible.

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Lou Ann Merkle September 20, 2022 - 10:58 am

Sydney Anderson, thank you for your excellent reporting on this case. Since you wrote this, a concerned citizens group has formed: Whitpain for Justice. We appreciate your story and hope you continue to follow it and provide updates.

Comments are closed.

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