British police are investigating the death of a teenage boy who was found hanged last month in a park near his home in Cheltenham, England.
Adam Tharia, 15, died at Bristol Children's Hospital three days after he was found hanging in the Benhall Park on May 21, The Daily Mail reports.
Police have acknowledged the existence of a video, believed to have been widely circulated online, that appears to depict Tharia being punched while surrounded by a group a of laughing boys.
According to the Daily Mail, the video, which surfaced about one week before the teen’s death, appears to have been removed.
The video apparently showed Tharia being punched in the face, while standing in a field surround by other boys, The Mirror reports. He is said to have appeared to brace himself for the blow but never put his hands up to protect his face.
After he was hit in the video, the group around him is reported to have laughed and the camera zoomed in on his face while he was motionless on the ground.
Gloucestershire police reportedly confirmed that they have seen the video.
A spokesman form the police department said investigators are looking into “all the circumstances of the sad death.”
“It would be inappropriate to discuss the specifics of the investigation while it is ongoing. We can however confirm that police are in possession of a piece of footage that appears to show Adam being punched by another boy around a week before,” the spokesman said, according to The Dail Mail. "We are keeping an open mind about what this might tell us, and continue to assess all relevant information.
"We would ask media not to speculate on the background to the footage and to bear in mind family sensitivities at a very difficult time,” the spokesman added.
“Adam was a wonderful son and brother. We will always love him and will miss him so very much,” Tharia’s family wrote on a Facebook page dedicated to the teen’s memory.
Others have also expressed their sadness over the teen’s death.
“The whole school community is deeply saddened by this tragic loss,” said a spokesman from Cheltenham Bournside School, which Tharia attended. “Our thoughts and heartfelt sympathy go out to the family at this most distressing time.”
Photo Credit: Facebook via Daily Mail, Gloucestershire Echo (Benhall Park)