Boy, 9, found hanged in restroom at school

By Calvin Palmer

A nine-year-old boy was founded hanged yesterday in the bathroom of an elementary school in North Texas.

Montana Lance asked to use the nurse’s bathroom around 1:00 p.m. at Stewart’s Creek Elementary School, The Colony.

When the nurse realized the boy had been in the bathroom for more than 10 minutes, she tried to open the door but it was locked, said Lt Darren Brockway of The Colony police. She grabbed a key to unlock the door and found the fourth-grader unconscious.

“We believe this was intentional,” Brockway said. “We have some information in the method and the manner which it was done to draw that conclusion.”

Montana was taken to Baylor Medical Center at Carrollton, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.

It has been determined by the medical examiner that Montana died as a result of hanging but the manner of his death is pending.

Brian Bradford, pastor at Horizons Church in The Colony, said Montana’s parents, Jason and Deborah, have struggled to find out what happened and why.

“It kind of came out left field for us, and that just adds to the tragic nature,” said Bradford, who said he is serving as the family’s spokesman. “He was just a very giving kid and loved to give back and help people and help around the church.

“Why he would want to take his own life is the question we are asking and probably will always ask. But something like this is just impossible to truly understand as far the rationale behind it.”

Neighbors of the Lance family said they usually saw Montana and his younger brother wearing camouflage and riding mini-motorcycles in front of their house.

“They would play with all the other kids,” said Chris Mata. “It seemed like a normal family.”

Phil Myro, who lives a few houses down, said he often saw Montana watching his dad ride his motorcycle up and down the block.

Students, parents and staff members at the school will have the chance to speak to grief counselors today and next week.

Stewart’s Creek Principal Lea Land said: “The entire Stewart’s Creek Elementary School’s thoughts are with the family during this time of grief.”

Lewisville Independent School District spokeswoman Karen Permetti said the school is sending a letter home with students today.

[Based on reports by The Dallas Morning News and Associated Press.]

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