BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City Police are investigating a questionable death of a 9-year-old.
Police say they were called to the 2000 block of Kennedy Ave. for an unresponsive 9-year-old Monday morning.
The child, identified as 9-year-old Donte Heggie, was later pronounced dead at the hospital Monday.
Michael Heggie, Donte’s uncle, is still waiting for an official cause of death for his nephew.
“Terrible. Like I say, he was my buddy. For a young life like that to go, it’s a waste,” Heggie said.
Heggie said Donte’s father found him Monday morning.
“He trying to wake Donte up, he won’t wake up. I told him to call the ambulance. And I shot on back in town,” Heggie said.
Heggie said hospital staff told him Donte may have ingested methadone, which is used to treat drug addiction. Heggie said he believes the substance belonged to his brother.
The family said the little boy broke his arm over the weekend, and he mistakenly ingested the methadone, thinking it would stop the pain.
Vernette Heggie, Donte’s sister, said she thinks he thought it would have helped him with his pain.
“With his arm. He should have just woke my dad up. He should have just woke my dad up instead of trying to do it on his own, but he, that was Donte,” Vernette said.
An autopsy is planned for Tuesday.
Donte was reportedly a well-loved kid on Kennedy Ave.
“We loved him so much.
He would play, we would make sure he wouldn’t leave the block, we made sure he did what he was to do, we made sure he made it in the house safely,” said Wanda Corprew, a neighbor on their block.
Donte was a third grader at Cecil Elementary School.
The principal sent home a letter Monday, saying, “With deep sadness, I share that one of our students, has died,”
The medical examiner’s office will determine the official cause of death.
The neighborhood in East Baltimore mourned the well-liked 9-year-old Tuesday night.
“Thank ya’ll for coming, show ya’ll love for my son,” said Vernon Heggie, Donte’s father.
The vigil in front of his house on Kennedy Ave had mourners as young as elementary school.
“He was one of my best friends. Why did this have to happen to him. Why? He was a nice person,” said Kayden Corprew, Donte’s friend.
“It’s very devastating to see all these kids like this and lose such a wonderful wonderful kid like Donte. He was very well loved. It’s crazy, because I was just with him that night,” said Tameka Thompson, of Baltimore.
The family will have to wait to hear the exact cause of death from the medical examiner.
“I did everything for him,” His father said.
“Donte loved him, Donte loved my dad,” said Vernette.
Donte’s school said a crisis team will be available in the coming days to help students who are mourning.
Baltimore City Police said the autopsy was expected to be completed Tuesday.