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Tragic Dylan McDonald found hanged at children's home

by Angela Johnson. Published Tue 20 Oct 2009 13:47

The family of an 11-year-old boy found hanged at a care home were due to apply to regain custody of their son next month.

Tragic Dylan McDonald's body was spotted by youngsters playing outside, hanging outside his bedroom window at The Appletree Centre in Cumbria.

Teachers immediately rushed to the boy's aid and found him still alive, suspended from a large Victorian window at the home.

Young Dylan, originally from Liverpool, was cut down and driven to a hospital in Lancaster where he later lost his fight for life.

His grieving family paid tribute to "joker" Dylan, and said he had showed no warning signs of a desire to commit suicide.

Uncle Shaun McDonald told how Dylan had been excitedly looking forward to trips back home to see his dad Peter and mum Sharon at Hallowe'en and Christmas.

Mr McDonald, from Warrington, said: "Everyone is in a state of shock.

"When Peter went to see him on Sunday, he was laughing and joking.

"They took him out for meals and Dylan was really looking forward to coming back home later this month.

"We've been told he may have had an argument with a teacher, or another pupil on Monday, and he was a bit down on Tuesday.

"But, essentially, why he did this is a mystery."

Officers from Cumbria Police launched an investigation into Dylan's death, which is not being treated as suspicious.

His distraught family are calling for answers about the hours leading up to his death.

Claims have surfaced that Dylan was not checked for an hour-and-a-half, between 3.45pm when he went to his bedroom, and 5.15pm when he was found.

And the boy's family have raised questions regarding the home's standard procedures - including bedroom doors being kept open, and a teacher stationed on the outside corridor.

Knowsley Council, whose care Dylan was in, refused to comment on the suggestions, stating that an enquiry was underway.

Dylan, who had four brothers and one sister, had spent the last three years at the care home in the Lake District.

His uncle added that he had a good relationship with his parents and would see them every fortnight on visits.

Peter and Sharon were due to apply to regain custody of their son at court next month.

Tributes have poured in to a Facebook RIP page, including a heartfelt message from Dylan's grief-stricken mum Sharon.

She wrote: "Dylan son dont know wat to do with out u now u are a sweet little boy that made us both very proud u rest now with your little sis siobhan.

"We still dont believe it you are the light of our lives we will always love an miss u , u will always be in our hearts an u will never be forgotten u are my little angel u will always hold my heart with u we all love u an miss u goodnight godbless my son love always mum dad an gang xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

A Knowsley Council spokesperson said: "The death is a terrible tragedy.

"Our thoughts are with the family and we will be offering them every possible support at this very difficult time.

"We are working closely with Cumbria Police who are conducting an investigation into the circumstances around the death."



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"R.I.P Dylan, GBNF XXXX" Megan, Liverpool around 4 years, 7 months ago

"R.I.P hun we all miss u x x x " lauren, liverpool around 4 years, 7 months ago

"R.I.P cuzz miss you loads hope your ok up their lad playing with you cousion an you sister love you lad bee good lol love you dylan jodie " jodie , london/leytonstone around 4 years, 10 months ago

"R.I.P little man, gone but forgotten." conor mc, liverpool around 4 years, 10 months ago

"miss u so much my angel antie claire" claire , london around 4 years, 10 months ago

"sweet dreams my little nephew xxxx antie claire" claire, london around 4 years, 10 months ago

"miss u little man xxxx" claire , london around 4 years, 10 months ago

"rip darling social services have again let another child down he did not die in his parents care but people who are supposed 2 look after u " paula newman, kirkby liverpool around 4 years, 11 months ago

"R.I.P DYLAN MISSED BY ALL YOUR LOVED ONES GOOD NIGHT GOD BLESS MATE XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX" micgelle, liverpool around 4 years, 11 months ago

"love u little man antie claire sweet dreams baby" claire, london around 4 years, 11 months ago

"r'i'p my brave cousin, absolutely gutted by all of this but may u be at peace with grandad and siobhan xx" charlie harrison, isle of man around 4 years, 11 months ago

"my sweet lil angle we love an miss you loads cuzzz jodie xx" jodie, london around 4 years, 11 months ago

"my lil cuz dylan R.I.P mate love yoou will b very missed thorts go out to sharon an paddy R.I.P dylan goodnight love fron cuz jodie love u x" jodie, london around 4 years, 11 months ago

 
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