STRATFORD -- A mother, who found her son in medical trouble, but could not get through to 911, shared her frustration exclusively with FOX61 Tuesday morning, opening up about her struggles in hopes it will help another family.
Demarius Bell , 20, had told his family he was gay a couple of years ago. But what transpired a week ago was unimaginable for his family.
"My son was outgoing and happy," said Edith Bell, the young man's mother. "You would never know he was hurting inside."
Demarius and his mom were close. They spent the day together last Monday. Then, late that night "he said 'mom I’ll be right back,'" Edith Bell told FOX61.
She then fell asleep. However, about an hour later, she awoke, concerned he wasn’t home yet, So, she got up.
"First thing, I look, and my son sneakers are on the rug. Then, I see his cell phone in the bathroom," she said.
She then went to the kitchen and opened the back sliding door.
"Something told me to look in the back and I saw my son, hanging from the tree," she said.
Edith said her son was struggling with being gay.
"I can’t even look outside that backyard to see that tree," she said, crying.
After freeing Demarius from the tree, her nightmare worsened.
"Me and three other people called 911 for 20 minutes and couldn’t even get through," she noted.
Stratford officials acknowledge a statewide 911 outage was happening during this dire emergency.
Demarius Bell died.
"Talk to your kids and get them the help they need," Edith said, as she sobbed.
A GoFundMe page set up in the name of Demarius Bell to help defray the funeral costs, which the family cannot afford.
"I can’t even close my eyes without seeing my son," Edith said.
One resource, to open the door to discussion about sexual orientation with your child, is a page in the Color A Positive Thought coloring book series, created by the victim’s cousin.
"Hopefully this page and the incident of my cousin will bring more light to the situation and more sensitivity to a child, who is facing similar issues," said Harry Bell, Author of the Color A Positive Thoght Series.
Harry encourages families to reach out to him through his Facebook page or here.