East Hartford Teen Drowned: Coroner

The 15 year-old drowned in gym class during his first-ever swim lesson, his aunt said.

By Ilana Gold and Staff
|  Friday, Jan 13, 2012  |  Updated 9:23 AM EDT
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The family and friends of Marcum Asiamah mourn his passing and demand answers.

The family and friends of Marcum Asiamah mourn his passing and demand answers.

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The medical examiner has ruled that the 15-year-old boy who died after an incident at the East Hartford High School pool on Wednesday drowned.

Marcum Asiamah, a freshman at the school, died of asphyxia due to submersion, the medical examiner ruled. 

Asiamah drowned in the school pool during a physical education class. 

“My heart is filled with sorrow and it's very hard," Asiamah’s aunt, Vida Kwofie, said. “We don’t even know what happened. They haven’t given us any information, so it’s making the grieving process very hard.” 

Few details have been released and the medical examiner has not released a cause of death. 

"Yesterday's tragic event at East Hartford High School still remains under investigation and we have no findings that we can share with you at this time," Supt. of Schools Mark Zito said in a news release on Thursday. "Because of student confidentiality laws, the school district cannot provide you with any information relating to the student involved in the incident." 

Kwofie said these were apparently her nephew’s first swim lessons. 

“We don’t know what to think anymore. We are very disappointed with the school,” she said. “When Malcom said, ‘Bye’ to mom, ‘I’ll see you when I get back home in the afternoon,’ so mom says, ‘I love you,’ and that’s all. 

Grief counselors were in the school on Thursday and will continue to be available for students, teachers and staff, according to school officials. 

“It feels weird to be in school knowing someone drowned in the pool. I didn’t want to walk past it at all," Desiray Perez, a student at East Hartford High School, said. 

The East Hartford High School Student Council is coordinating a candlelight vigil from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday night at the rock in front of the high school.

The pool will remain closed during the investigation, Zito said.

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