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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Delvonte Tisdale's Father Holds Press Conference; Refutes Airplane Death Rumors

Last Update: December 14, 2010: 12:57pm

Delvonte Tisdale's Mother Can’t Fathom Why He May Have Stowed Away

As Jonette Washington prepares a private service to remember her 16-year-old son, Delvonte Tisdale, she remains mystified by his apparent decision to flee his father’s home in North Carolina and climb into the wheel well of a commercial airplane.

“My first instinct was it can’t be true,’’ Washington said yesterday in an interview from her Baltimore home. “He wouldn’t do anything like that. He has no reason to do anything like that. All he had to do was pick up the phone and say, ‘Mommy, I’m ready to come home,’ and I’d go get him.’’

Tisdale and his younger brother and sister had been living with their father for a year and a half, and although Anthony Tisdale, a chef, was stricter than she was, his relationship with the children seemed generally good, Washington said.

Why Delvonte Tisdale left around Nov. 15 as everyone slept — and, according to authorities, sneaked into a US Airways plane bound for Boston — is a puzzle that may never be solved. A spokesman for Norfolk District Attorney William R. Keating said yesterday that investigators scoured his family’s computer and cellphone — Tisdale did not have his own — and found nothing that indicated he planned to do something so drastic.

On Friday, Washington will hold a small service at her home, where she will gather with close friends and family and tell stories about her son.

She said she will make his favorite dish, fried chicken and potatoes, and put out a yellow cake with white icing. A picture of Tisdale in his ROTC uniform will be iced onto the cake. He will be buried in Baltimore, Washington said.

Washington, a 35-year-old nursing student, said she accepts what authorities are telling her but cannot reconcile their conclusions with what she knew of her son, whom she described as a quiet, stable boy whose wildest behavior had been to once cut school.

Contrary to reports, she said, he never ran away from home, but he had been more aloof in recent weeks.

“I think it was something that was building that nobody actually saw or knew about,’’ Washington said. “Just sounded like something was building and made him get fed up and he was just tired and wanted to leave.’’

Authorities from Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the federal Transportation Security Administration, and US Airways declined yesterday to say how Tisdale managed to get onto the tarmac and climb into a Boeing 737 undetected.

“Airport security is a multi-layered process and every facility is different, based on how the facility works,’’ said Haley Gentry, an airport spokeswoman.

The boy’s family said they have no idea how Tisdale got to the airport, about 18 miles from his home, or if he had any friends who worked there.

In a statement, officials at the Charlotte airport said they were told on Dec. 1 by the Federal Aviation Administration that Massachusetts investigators would be examining two US Airways planes.

A US Airways spokesman referred questions to Massachusetts authorities.

David Traub, Keating’s spokesman, said that the Norfolk district attorney has no jurisdiction over airport security.

None of the images examined in the surveillance videos from the airport so far has shown Tisdale crawling into a plane’s wheel well, Traub said. An exact cause of death has not been released; officials are awaiting the medical examiner’s final report.

Fingerprints left on greasy parts of a plane’s wheel well have been photographed and digitally enhanced in the hopes they can be identified, said David Procopio, spokesman for Massachusetts State Police, who have been investigating the case with Milton officials since Tisdale’s battered body was found on a quiet Milton street Nov. 15. Officials said Tisdale apparently plunged to the ground as the plane opened its landing gear.

Patrick Smith, a commercial pilot who writes the “Ask the Pilot’’ column for, said, “We can have all the security in the world and short of turning the airport into a fortress, there’s always going to be a way for someone who is resourceful enough to find his way around security.’’

While it is unclear how the teenager bypassed security, Smith said the TSA exempts ground workers from the same security checkpoints, with metal detectors and X-ray machines, that pilots, flight attendants, and passengers are required to pass through.

Tisdale had never flown in his life, according to his mother. His father drove him and his siblings from Baltimore to North Carolina, where they went last year so they could get to know their father, whom they had not seen in years, Washington said.

“He was afraid of heights,’’ she said. “He didn’t even like going in a building that was high.’’

He was passionate about the Air Force ROTC program at his school, but his dream was to be a Marine, Washington said.

She said she last spoke to him on Nov. 8, his birthday. She was planning on visiting her children for Thanksgiving and Tisdale wanted her to meet his ROTC friends, Washington said.

Nothing seemed wrong, Washington said, but a couple of his friends told her later that he had been wanting to come back to Baltimore.

“All of a sudden he started becoming distant,’’ she said.

Anthony Tisdale said he was too distraught to speak yesterday.

On Saturday, he held a memorial for his son at a Charlotte church, said the Rev. James Woodson, the family’s pastor when they lived in Greensboro.

About 50 people came to mourn the teenager. His ROTC classmates presented Anthony Tisdale with a framed picture of his son in uniform.

The moment reminded the father of something his son once told him, Woodson said: “I want you to keep a picture of me because someday I’m going to be great.’’

Last Update: December 12, 2010; 3:00pm

McCrory On Stowaway Investigation: "This Is A Federal Problem", How Did It Happen?

Friday’s announcement by the district attorney from Norfolk County, Massachusetts said they had enough evidence to suggest Delvonte Tisdale climbed into the wheel well of a Boeing 737 and fell out of the jet just outside Boston last month.

Following that announcement, former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory told Eyewitness News the incident will prompt an international review of airport safety procedures.

He even said he "wouldn't be surprised" if Charlotte leaders are called to testify before Congress about what investigators have labeled a "major breach in security."

For five years, McCrory served on the Homeland Security Advisory Commission, along with 17 other leaders, including airline CEO's and the former director of the FBI.

“We are spending tens of millions of dollars protecting our airplanes from terrorists," McCrory said. "So to see a teenager gain access to a plane--not only on the ground but also up in the air—it has got to raise some major red flags from a national, and international perspective."

The TSA has said very little since investigators revealed they believe Tisdale breached security at Charlotte Douglas and gained access to a plane. Its only released a brief statement saying the airport--not the TSA--is responsible for "access control security."

McCrory says first and foremost, this is a federal problem.

"No one can pass the buck when it comes to access to an airplane. Especially by a teenager."

Eyewitness News spoke to Delvonte Tisdale's stepmom in Baltimore. She said she's furious at what investigators call a major breach in security.

"A 16-year-old boy managed to get onto the airport, climb up into a plane, and died inside this plane," said Diane Turner. "With nobody seeing him. No camera. No security. No anything."

McCrory believes the TSA and Homeland Security will use Tisdale's death to call for a major overhaul of perimeter security.

"I'm sure they'll look at fencing, lighting, cameras, and more people on the ground."

Investigators said Tisdale stowed away on a plane, but they aren't saying for sure how he did it. Eyewitness News has interviewed commercial pilots and Homeland Security experts who agree the most likely scenario is that he hopped a perimeter fence.

Charlotte Douglas Airport director Jerry Orr said as the investigation continues, the airport will make security changes as needed. The new developments in the investigation even had passengers concerned about security. Lauren Mihalchik was flying from Charlotte to Boston. She said, "I don't understand how someone could get through security and do all that. It obviously shows that the airport hasn't done something right."

In a phone converstation with Orr, Eyewitness News asked if the airport can reassure people that it is safe to fly. Orr said they take security very seriously, but said nobody can guarantee 100 percent safety.

Update: December 11, 2010; 11:34 am

Delvonte Tisdale May Have Fallen From Plane In Massachusetts

Authorities are investigating what happened to a North Carolina teenager whose body was found along a flight path in Massachusetts with "trauma that was consistent with a fall from a significant height," a Massachusetts district attorney said.

"It appears, more likely than not, that (Delvonte) Tisdale was able to breach airport security and hide in the wheel well of a commercial jetliner without being detected by airport security personnel," William R. Keating, district attorney for Norfolk County, Massachusetts, told reporters Friday.

The mystery started November 15, when 16-year-old Delvonte was last seen by a sibling at their home in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to Keating.

Later that day, his family discovered Delvonte wasn't home and reported him missing.

"About 7 p.m., a Boeing 737-400 aircraft was boarded and took off from North Carolina's Charlotte Douglas International Airport, en route to Boston's Logan Airport," Keating told reporters.

"At approximately 9:30 p.m. that same evening, a group of area college students came upon a severely injured body" in the town of Milton, Keating said. "This was directly below a flight path."

The body was later determined to be Delvonte's.

The autopsy on Delvonte's body "did not reveal any knife or gun wounds, but did show trauma that was consistent with a fall from a significant height," Keating said. He said a toxicology test turned out negative.

Investigators examined two planes that had originated in Charlotte and followed a similar flight path, Keating said. They found "what appeared to be physical evidence of someone having been in a left wheel well of one of the planes was located and documented -- including hand prints visible in greasy areas and scuff marks in the area that would accommodate a person."

On Friday, Milton police and other authorities conducted a search of the wooded area along the flight path, Keating said.

"They recovered two dark Nike Air Force sneakers with white stripes, consistent with those that the Tisdale family describe as belonging to Delvonte," Keating said.

During the investigation, Keating said, one local resident described hearing a loud, crashing noise shortly before 9 p.m. the night Delvonte's body was found.

State police have ruled out motor vehicle homicide as a possible cause for Delvonte's injuries.

"The theory that the death may have involved a fall from a passing airplane -- as has happened in other parts of the country and other parts of the world -- began to be explored," Keating said.

Fingerprints lifted from Delvonte's body were run through a national database, but no matches were found.

"But investigators released a handwritten note found in the pocket of the jeans he was wearing, and a member of the family recognized the name and made contact with Milton police," Keating said.

Last week, Massachusetts state and local police traveled to North Carolina to take samples of grease used in maintaining aircraft to see if the grease found on Delvonte's pants could be matched to that grease, Keating said. Forensics tests are still pending.

Delvonte Tisdale Possibly Breached Charlotte's Airport Security

A month after the mangled body of a North Carolina teenager was found in a quiet Milton neighborhood, Norfolk District Attorney William R. Keating said yesterday that evidence indicates he stowed away in the wheel well of a plane and fell from the sky as the landing gear came down on the approach to Logan International Airport.

A shirt stained with what appeared to be grease used in airplanes and believed to be Delvonte Tisdale’s was recovered yesterday, along with sneakers, scattered along the flight path, Keating said. The items were found about a half-mile from where the 16-year-old’s body was discovered on Brierbrook Street on the night of Nov. 15, authorities said.

Fingerprints and a handprint were also discovered in the left wheel well of a Boeing 737 commercial airliner that left Charlotte Douglas International Airport at 7 p.m. Nov. 15 and landed at Logan about two hours later, Keating said. Investigators are still awaiting test results to confirm that the prints are Tisdale’s, but Keating said it appears likely that they are.

The conclusion that the teenager’s death was not believed to be a homicide, as initially thought, quickly shifted the focus of the investigation to the Charlotte airport and the Transportation Security Administration.

“It appears more likely than not that Mr. Tisdale was able to breach airport security and hide in the wheel well of a commercial jet airliner without being detected by airport security,’’ Keating said during a press conference, calling it a major breach of airport security.

Keating said that it was unclear how the teenager was able to get onto the tarmac and climb into the wheel well undetected at a time of heightened security, but that the probability that he did so raised troubling questions about the potential for a terrorist attack.

“There is great concern that with all of our efforts for security and the almost invasive type of efforts that are occurring right now, that something like this could happen,’’ said Keating, who will be sworn in next month as the new congressman from the 10th Congressional District.

He added, “It’s a terrible tragedy, what happened to this young man, but if that was someone with a different motive . . . if that was a terrorist, that could have been a bomb that was planted, undetected. This is very serious.’’

He said he notified federal officials yesterday that Tisdale somehow managed to breach security at the Charlotte airport.

Ann Davis, a spokeswoman for the TSA, released a statement last night saying, “We will work with the airport, which is responsible for access control security, to conduct a thorough investigation based on the facts and information provided by law enforcement.’’

Authorities at the Charlotte airport did not return repeated calls last night.

Tisdale’s parents could not be reached for comment last night. But, Norman Brown, a former neighbor of Delvonte Tisdale in Baltimore who said he was like an uncle to the teenager, reacted with disbelief to the announcement that the teenager fell from a plane.

“It seems pretty far-fetched to me,’’ said Brown, questioning how he could have made it across the tarmac and onto a plane with the increased scrutiny of the TSA. “He would have to go into the terminal, find out where the plane is, and he’d have to go to TSA to get to where that plane is. Then he would have to orient himself once he got on the field. That’s just too much for a child to do.

“That just doesn’t sound right at all. . . . I think there’s more to be investigated here.’’

Diane Turner, the mother of Delvonte Tisdale’s half-brother, Craig Tisdale, was also skeptical of the notion that Tisdale fell from a plane.

“Even though he wanted to go into the service, he was afraid of flying,’’ said Turner, who lives in Baltimore and considered Delvonte her stepson. “I just can’t see that happening. But then again, I don’t know. I’m not a scientist. Only God knows what happened to Delvonte.’’

Tisdale, a sophomore who was enrolled in the Air Force Junior ROTC program at his high school in Charlotte, NC., was last seen by a sibling some time after 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 15.

Keating would not identify the plane Tisdale was believed to have been on, but when asked if it was a US Airways flight, he acknowledged it had been “identified as such.’’

US Airways spokesman Andrew Christie said last night that he could neither confirm nor deny that Tisdale was on a company plane. He said the airline is cooperating with the investigation and declined further comment.

Keating said he spoke yesterday with Tisdale’s parents, but declined to disclose what was said.

Keating said it is unclear why Tisdale, who had relatives in Baltimore, would stow away on a Boston-bound plane. He said that Brierbrook Street is in the direct flight path used by aircraft heading to Logan and that a resident heard a crashing noise shortly before 9 p.m. Tisdale’s battered body was discovered about a half-hour later. Police initially suspected that he was slain, but found no evidence of foul play.

The pants Tisdale was wearing were also stained with what is believed to be grease used in airplanes, Keating said.

It was unclear whether Tisdale had survived the flight until he fell from the plane, said Keating. He added that a plastic card Tisdale was believed to be carrying shattered when it hit the ground, “consistent with being frozen’’ in flight.

Laura J. Brown, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said that it is not uncommon worldwide for stowaways to hide in plane wheel wells, but that it is rare on planes originating in America.

The last person to stow away on a flight from a US airport was on April 14, 1972, when a frozen body was found in the left wheel well of a flight from San Diego to New York City.

In February of this year, a frozen body was found in the wheel well on a flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York when it landed at Narita International Airport in Japan, but it was later discovered that he did not actually stow away on the plane in New York. In fact, his body had been undetected in the wheel well since he stowed away Dec. 12, 2009, during a flight from Lagos, Nigeria, to New York.

Between 1996 and November of this year, there have been 86 stowaways involving 76 flights, of which 68 were fatal and 18 people survived.

During this very sad time for the Tisdale family I send My Condolences. I can't imagine the hurt they are feeling at this moment. Only God & the Lord Jesus Christ can heal anyone from such pain.

As it relates to how Delvonte Died let's just say that ONLY God, Delvonte & his Murderers knows how he REALLY Died!

NOT Charlotte's Biased, Lying Media!

It appears that whenever a Black Youth from the Charlotte region dies, Charlotte's Biased Media Community loves to make up some Stupid Theory about how that individual may have died as a way to screw up their Character or hide the TRUTH.

On the other hand when Zahra Baker died NO such lies were reported or published to tarnish her Character because Zahra was a White child.

According to many who knew Delvonte, including many White citizens (including Adults), he was a very Respectable Student and a Respectable, Kind person.

In fact he even had plans to enlist into the U.S. Marines upon completing High School.

That said why is WCNC & the Charlotte Observer trying to ruin this young man's character with this foolish "Plane death" theory?

In this instance Charlotte's Media mainly WCNC (an affiliate of MSNBC) is pushing the "fell from a Plane" theory/lie.

Boston Officials are refuting the possibility that Delvonte died by falling from a Plane.

Just because his body was Mutilated & Mangled doesn't mean he fell from a plane!

Based upon Scientific facts & Studies, Boston Officials have determined that its basically impossible such an incident could have occurred, because anyone trying to stow away in a Plane Wheel would have died from Subfreezing Temperatures.

What about the White Audi Delvonte was "seen" riding in that had Blood splattered on its tires and was impounded by Boston Law Enforcement officials?

Since the Boston Law Enforcement Officials have NOT endorsed falling from a plane as cause of death for Delvonte Tisdale, why is the Charlotte Media constantly pushing this Lying Theory??

Is it possible the Obama White House Officials, Governor Deval Patrick & Mayor Anthony Foxx are making those two Media organizations push such LIES to Cover Up the REAL Truth about Delvonte's Death?

I Believe that Delvonte was Murdered by someone living in the Boston area or a Boston Surburb.

However that doesn't mean he was actually Killed in the Boston area.

He may have been killed some place else and his body dumped in the Boston area.

After all its NO secret that Boston has a Racist History.

Just because Massachusetts elected a Black Governor doesn't mean Racism doesn't Still exist in America because it Does!

Its also NO secret that Charlotte's Media Community consistently assassinates the Character of local Black citizens. Especially Black Youth!

Where is the NAACP when it comes to protecting the Character of Black Youth?

They are often noticeably Silent whenever a Black Youth is murdered but loud & vocal when it comes to Political Issues.

Remember how loud the Charlotte NAACP was over the recent Charlotte-Mecklenburg School closings?

That was just a Stupid Political Gimmick & NOTHING more!

And Remember how Silent the Charlotte NAACP was about Tiffany Wright's death?

More Politics & a Cover Up!

So in essence President Obama, Governor Patrick & Mayor Foxx (ALL Black Men) are willing to tarnish the image of Delvonte Tisdale (also a Black Man), for the sake of trying to protect the image of Massachusetts or hide Boston's Racist history?

Please!! That is NOT right!

Its obvious this is a Cover Up!

Such Selfish, Backstabbing actions explains why Black Voters are turning away from Black Politicians like President Obama & Mayor Anthony Foxx.

I commend the Boston Law Enforcement Officials for treating Delvonte's family with Respect and for working Hard to solve this case.

I also commend Boston Law Enforcement Officials for refuting the "Plane Death" Theory/ Lies currently being spread by Charlotte's Media community.

Just as it was with Tiffany Wright's death, God is going to publicly expose the TRUTH about how Delvonte REALLY died.

As to Delvonte's family My Prayers are with them in this time of need.

I also pray Delvonte's family has the Courage NOT to accept that Lying "Plane Death" theory for the sake of Politics or just to help out some Self-Serving Black Politicians who could care less about them.

I wonder if Governor Patrick or Mayor Anthony Foxx called the Tisdale family.

I can answer that one for you. NO!

They are Lawyers & don't want to get involved!

As for the fates of President Barack Obama, Governor Deval Patrick & Mayor Anthony Foxx they will ALL stand before God Almighty one day.

It doesn't matter if a person is an Atheist, Christian or a Muslim, every Human Being WILL most certainly stand before God one day to give an account for their Deeds.

Even Deeds that were done in the dark & behind Closed doors!

Please Check out the articles below from the Boston Globe.

Seems the Boston Globe is the ONLY Media organization actually reporting Factual information regarding Delvonte's death since this Investigation began.

R.I.P. Delvonte

Father Of Slain N.C. Teen Speaks

Speaking publicly for the first time, the father of Delvonte Tisdale said he last saw his son at their North Carolina home, when they had pizza and his son was playing video games, less than 24 hours before he was found dead on a Massachusetts street.

The next day, on Nov. 15, authorities found the 16-year-old’s mangled body in Milton, about 900 miles from home.

At a press conference yesterday outside the family’s home in Charlotte, Anthony Tisdale, the father, told reporters he said good night to his son about 10 p.m. “I said, ‘Hey, man. Good night,’ ’’ he said. “And that was the last time I saw my son.’’

He said he did not know why his son would leave home and did not know what to make of a theory that his son might have fallen from the wheel well of an airplane descending to Logan International Airport.

“I have no idea,’’ Tisdale said when asked how his son made it to Massachusetts.

He said his son had not missed a day of school since the family moved from Greensboro to Charlotte about five months ago and the boy became a sophomore at North Mecklenburg High School.

“My son was a hard-working man,’’ said Tisdale, wiping away tears. “He didn’t frequent the streets. He didn’t listen to a lot of out-of-the-way music. He played video games and spent time with the family. We did projects around the house. And, you know, he loved the ROTC.’’

He said his son was adjusting well to life in a new city.

“Our son was ecstatic with Charlotte,’’ he said. “He loved Charlotte. He loved the area. He loved his high school. His friends were great. He was really able to associate himself with a lot of good folks at North Mecklenburg High and with the ROTC group. It became part of who he was at North Mecklenburg, and Charlotte was a great city for him.’’

Last week, however, relatives said Tisdale had had a contentious relationship with his father and may have run away to be with his extended family in Baltimore. They said he had run away several times before and may have hitched a ride with someone bound for the Boston area.

Standing with the father, the family’s pastor, the Rev. James Woodson of St. James Home of Fresh Start in Greensboro, said it was hard for anyone to know for certain what the boy was thinking or why he left home.

“Kids have got secrets,’’ he said. “At that age, you don’t know. We assume by his practices, by his habits, that he was satisfied with being in Charlotte.’’

Woodson said the family knows of no argument or other event that might have caused the teenager to flee. “There was nothing out of the ordinary that we know of,’’ he said. “This is the most baffling thing that we can understand.’’

Tisdale said the family hopes investigators can solve the mystery of his son’s death. “That’s something we’re trying to let the investigators handle at this point, because we just don’t know,’’ he said. “We aren’t detectives; we are family, and we just did the best that we could do to make sure that they could complete their jobs.’’

Tisdale was joined at the press conference by his mother, Delvonte’s grandmother, Lula Smith. She said the family is mourning and making plans for a funeral.

“This will be the first Thanksgiving that we’ve had to contemplate what to do, so it’s very difficult for us and for my family trying to [bring] everybody together, and really what we have to do to try to mend our family,’’ Tisdale said. “It’s a hard loss for us. It’s a difficult thing for us to accept, because I still can’t believe my son is not with us.’’

Tisdale said the family moved to Charlotte “for better opportunities for us as a family.’’ He described the move as a “win-win for everybody.’’

“That’s part of the reason why we came here to Charlotte, because Mecklenburg High offered the ROTC program here, and it was a good spot for everybody,’’ he said. “But you know, being here such a short time, and losing my son, is extremely difficult.’’

Authorities are investigating the “remote possibility’’ that the boy fell out of an airplane as it passed over Milton toward Logan, said a spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs the airport.

One theory is that Tisdale sneaked into the wheel well of an aircraft and that when the plane prepared to land, the well opened, sending him plummeting to the ground. Officials said wheel wells on jet aircraft are not pressurized and a stowaway probably would not have survived the subfreezing temperatures of the upper atmosphere.

Authorities said they are investigating how he made it to Milton, where he had no known ties. Milton police have said his body was mutilated.

Massport spokesman Phil Orlandella said Massport is checking records to see what flights and what type of aircraft passed over Milton that night. Arriving flights heading to Runway 4R cross Milton, he said.

“We have been requested to look into that possibility,’’ said Orlandella. “It’s something that theoretically can happen. It’s a remote possibility.’’

Norfolk District Attorney William R. Keating’s office said Milton and State Police are “investigating every possibility regarding how Delvonte Tisdale came to be found dead on Brierbrook Street.’’

Prosecutors declined to endorse the theory that Tisdale fell out of an aircraft.

“The office continues to decline to detail specific investigatory measures being taken,’’ a statement said. “The investigation remains active and ongoing on multiple fronts.’’

Father Discusses Death Of Teen Who Possibly Fell From Plane

The father of a 16-year-old Charlotte teen who may have fallen from an airplane wheel well says he does not know how or why his son ended up in Massachusetts.

Delvonte Tisdale was found dead in Milton, Mass., on Monday, Nov. 15.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Logan International Airport in Boston told NewsChannel 36 that local police are investigating the possibility that Tisdale may have been inside an airplane's wheel well and fell out.

Milton is a suburb of Boston and is located about 12 miles from Logan International Airport.

In Charlotte Tuesday, Anthony Tisdale spoke to the media for the first time. He said he last saw his son at about 10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14.

"I said, 'Hey man, goodnight.' And that was the last time I saw my son," Tisdale said.

He said he had no idea why his son left home and that the teen was happy in Charlotte.

"He loved Charlotte. He loved the area. He loved his high school," Tisdale said. "His friends were great. He was able to associate himself with a lot of good folks at North Meck [High School]."

Tisdale said his family moved to Charlotte from Greensboro. He said Delvonte has family up north, but not in the Boston area.

Tisdale said he did not know anything about Delvonte possibly being inside the wheel well of an airplane.

"I don't know at this point. I know that there's a lot of things on the Internet. I've actually stopped reading the Internet. I didn't think it would get to that point, but I can't speculate on that," he said.

Rebecca Simensen, a spokesperson for Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, said she was not aware of any security breach or investigation at the airport regarding Delvonte Tisdale.

Authorities say Tisdale's body suffered massive trauma and was so badly damaged that they could not determine a cause of death.

The Norfolk District Attorney's Office in Massachusetts released a statement Tuesday, saying they are "investigating every possibility regarding how Delvonte Tisdale came to be found dead on Brierbrook Street in Milton, Mass."

Meanwhile, Anthony Tisdale said he is saddened that his son will not be with his family this Thanksgiving.

"It's a hard loss for us. It's a difficult thing for us to accept. I still can't believe that my son isn't with us," he said.

Boston Airport Spokesman: Charlotte Teen Possibly Fell From Plane

A spokesperson for Logan International Airport in Boston, Mass., tells NewsChannel 36 that local police are investigating the possibility that Charlotte teen Delvonte Tisdale may have been inside an airplane's wheel well and fell out.

Tisdale was reported missing from Charlotte last Monday. His badly mangled body was found in Milton, Mass., that same day.

Phil Orlandella, the director of communications for Logan International Airport, told NewsChannel 36 on Tuesday that local law enforcement is investigating the possibility that Tisdale may have been inside an airplane's wheel well and fell out.

Rebecca Simensen, a spokesperson for Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, said she was not aware of any security breach or investigation at the airport regarding Tisdale.

Police found Tisdale's body in Milton, which is a suburb of Boston. Authorities say Tisdale's body suffered massive trauma and was so badly damaged that they could not determine a cause of death.

Tisdale moved to Charlotte with his family this past summer and was enrolled in North Mecklenburg High School. He was a member of the school's Air Force Jr. ROTC program.

Tisdale's stepsister told NewsChannel 36 that Tisdale didn't want to be in the military and didn't like living in North Carolina. She believes the teen ran away from home and was headed to Baltimore when he died.

Police Seek Help To Piece Together Delvonte Tisdale's Last Days

Police in Massachusetts are trying to piece together the final days of a Charlotte teen whose badly injured body was found in a Boston suburb -- and now they're asking the public for help.

Massachusetts State Police encourage anyone with information on 16-year-old Delvonte Tisdale to call them at 781-830-4800 ext. 215.

Tisdale, 16, was reported missing Nov. 15 by relatives in Charlotte - the same day police found a body in Milton, Mass., with massive trauma to his entire body.

According to stories published by the Boston Globe, Milton police said Tisdale suffered broken bones and severe trauma, particularly to the head. Investigators also discovered bone fragments at the scene.

In Tisdale's pocket was a month-old hall pass with his name. It also included the words "A lunch" and a scribbled signature with the date "10/19/2010."

Police said an initial autopsy did not reveal a cause of death because the body had been so badly damaged.

Body Found In Milton Is Confirmed As N.C. Teen, Delvonte Tisdale

The teenager found dead on a Milton street last week is the 16-year-old who disappeared from his father’s house in North Carolina, authorities confirmed last night.

Police matched the fingerprint taken from the body, which was found Monday night, with samples taken from a personal item that belonged to Delvonte Tisdale, whose father reported him missing just hours before his body was found.

“The investigation into this death remains active and ongoing,’’ David Traub, spokesman for Norfolk District Attorney William R. Keating, said in a statement. No details were released about how Tisdale got to Boston or how he died.

Tisdale’s large family, which stretches from South Carolina to Baltimore, already knew he had been killed, according to his paternal aunt.

Over the weekend, she said, Massachusetts investigators showed the missing teen’s father, Anthony Tisdale, photos of the body found in Milton. He recognized the body as that of his son, his aunt said.

The aunt said she does not know what could have led to the teen’s disappearance.

“We’re just trying to put the pieces together in terms of what happened and who did this to him. We’re just trying to figure out why,’’ said Tisdale’s aunt, who asked that she be identified only by her first name, Laura, because of the media attention the case has attracted. “Our hearts are heavy and we’re just trying to go on.’’

Milton’s police chief, Richard G. Wells Jr., said last night that his thoughts and sympathy were with the teen’s family.

“This must be a surreal situation to have your son go to bed on Sunday night and wind up dead in such a violent manner hundreds of miles from his home the next day,’’ Wells said in an e-mail.

Wells praised the public for their help in identifying Tisdale.

“We want to thank the media and the public for their assistance in helping to identify this victim and make contact with his family,’’ Wells said. “We fielded dozens of calls and e-mails, but clearly this effort helped find this victim’s family.’’

The case has puzzled authorities since Monday night, when the body was found on Brierbrook Street, a secluded area of the town.

There was no identification on the body, except for what looked like a school lunch pass with what appeared to be Tisdale’s name on it.

Anthony Tisdale reported his son missing Monday at 5:48 p.m., according to a police report from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. The body in Milton was found at about 9:30 that night.

A Milton police officer and two Massachusetts state troopers went to Charlotte on Friday to investigate the case. On Friday night, they were at the Tisdale home on Whitewood Trail, a quiet residential street.

They collected forensic evidence and snapped photos of the Tisdales’ brick, beige house, which the family had moved into about five months ago from Greensboro.

Laura said that on Friday or Saturday, police showed her brother the photos, warning him to brace himself.

“My brother is a very strong man,’’ Laura said. “I think it was by the grace of God that he was able to sustain that. He just wouldn’t allow anyone else to see [the photos] because it’s that graphic.’’

The body had been found with broken bones and evidence of massive trauma, especially to the head. A preliminary autopsy did not specify a cause of death.

Two people with knowledge of the investigation said the body looked like it had been run over by a vehicle.

Two vehicles matching the description of vehicles leaving the scene that night, including a white Audi with a Curry College sticker, were impounded.

Officials are also awaiting toxicology reports that might provide more clues about what happened to the teen.

Laura said that all the family can do now is wait for police to tell them what exactly killed Tisdale and for the body to be returned.

“Delvonte was everything to us,’’ she said. “We loved him.’’

A Charlotte police report has stated he was last seen at 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 14, but Laura said that Tisdale’s younger brother, who shared a room with him, saw him in bed at 1:30 Monday morning.

Laura said the family believes he must have disappeared well before 5:30 a.m., which is when Tisdale’s stepmother usually gets up to make sure the children are getting ready for school.

At first, Anthony Tisdale believed his son may have gone to school early, but when school officials told him he was not there, he began to panic, Laura said.

He drove all over Charlotte looking for his son, she said. When Delvonte, who is part of his school’s ROTC, did not return, the family contacted police.

Relatives are trying to understand how the teen got to Milton, which is 900 miles away from his home, in less than a day.

A half-brother of Tisdale’s told the Globe on Friday that he thought Tisdale may have gone with two friends who were heading to Boston and planned to drop him off in Baltimore, where he and his mother live.

Some of Tisdale’s relatives have said he has run away in the past and had had friction with his father, a Chef who neighbors said forbade his children from listening to rap music and wearing baggy pants.

Laura said the father and son loved each other. Delvonte was a quiet, reserved boy who often helped around the house, cleaning up the yard, and helping neighbors with yard work.

“Delvonte and Tony had a very good relationship,’’ Laura said. “He was a good father, a stern father. He wanted to raise his sons to be men.’’

Laura, who lives north of Charlotte, said her brother, whose four younger children live with him, is distraught and exhausted.

“He’s so tired,’’ she said. “It’s like a ton was dropped on him and he’s trying to stand and be as strong as he can because he still has the rest of his family to carry.’’

Laura said she and the rest of her siblings are trying to be strong for Tisdale.

“We’re going to get through this,’’ she said. “We’re going to be there to support our brother and love him. But no matter how much we say, his son is gone.’’

Delvonte Tisdale's Family Grieves & Waits

The family of a missing North Carolina teenager grieved yesterday, as investigators worked to determine whether the unidentified body found last week on a quiet Milton street was that of the 16-year-old boy, and if so, to unravel the mystery of how the teenager ended up dead nearly 900 miles away from home.

Authorities have not identified the body as Delvonte Tisdale, but over the past two days they visited his family’s handsome brick and beige house in Charlotte and reached out to those who knew him for clues to his disappearance.

Tisdale, a popular, outgoing student who belonged to his high school’s ROTC program, was last seen in Charlotte last Sunday, the day before the battered body of a young man was found on a residential street near the Blue Hills Reservation.

There was no identification on the body, but police found a school lunch pass bearing what appeared to be Tisdale’s name in the boy’s jeans pocket. Police in Milton later received a tip from an out-of-state caller that led them to North Carolina.

Relatives said they believe Tisdale, who was living with his father in a middle-class neighborhood in Charlotte, ran away last weekend, which family members said he had done several times before. They said Tisdale had a contentious relationship with his father and may have been heading to Baltimore, where he had family.

Authorities in North Carolina and Massachusetts declined to provide updates on the case yesterday.

But in North Carolina, detectives interviewed students who knew Tisdale through the ROTC program.

“I think they are trying to do their due diligence and track down every lead they can,’’ said Jeff Siegel, producer of the Carolina Renaissance Festival, where, he said, Tisdale did volunteer work last Saturday with other ROTC members to raise money for the school program. “I hope they sort out what happened.’’

Tisdale was scheduled to return to the festival Sunday but never showed, he said.

The Tisdale family in Charlotte did not speak to reporters yesterday. But neighbors said they were shocked at the possibility the boy could have been the victim of violence.

Carol Brinson, 61, described him as an unfailingly polite youth who would often practice ROTC maneuvers in his yard. He recently offered to carry several bags of her leaves to the curb, she recalled.

“In a million years I can’t even imagine what happened,’’ she said.

Brinson said Delvonte’s father, Anthony Tisdale, recently moved to the neighborhood with his wife and five children. She said Tisdale, a chef who wanted to start his own catering business, always wanted his children to dress neatly and look their best.

“My heart is bleeding for him, because they really love their kids,’’ Brinson said.

Brinson said the news has alarmed the neighborhood, a close-knit community where residents usually “feel safe going to the grocery store and leaving your doors unlocked.’’

Yesterday morning, a neighbor placed a bouquet of flowers on the steps of the Tisdale home and said people were trying to support the family any way they could.

“Everybody is going, ‘What can we do for them?’ ’’ she said, declining to give her name. “They’re just so nice.’’

Meanwhile, family members in Baltimore were grieving as well. On her Facebook page, the mother of several of Tisdale’s siblings wrote that Delvonte would forever be “in our hearts and our souls.’’

“I know that you’re being well taken care of with those beautiful angels in the sky,’’ she wrote.

His sister, Erica Holloway, wrote on Facebook that her little brother would “truly be missed’’ and that he had run away from his father’s house and been found dead in Boston. She posted a picture of Tisdale.

Tisdale’s father reported the boy was last seen around 11:30 p.m. last Sunday.

Less than 24 hours later in Milton, a passerby found the body, which was so badly mangled that an autopsy failed to determine the cause of death.

A half-brother in Baltimore, Craig Tisdale, 18, said on Friday he thought Tisdale may have gotten in a car with two friends bound for Boston, hoping they would drop him off in Baltimore on their way north.

Craig’s mother, Diane Turner, told the Globe on Friday night that “we really don’t know what happened.’’ Turner said she didn’t think Tisdale knew anyone in the Boston area.

Authorities went to Tisdale’s home Friday to test DNA samples and take fingerprints. They interviewed neighbors yesterday.

In Massachusetts, police said they have interviewed a number of potential witnesses and have impounded two cars as part of the inquiry, including a white sedan that matched witness descriptions of a vehicle seen leaving the area. The car was found in a parking lot in Dorchester’s Lower Mills neighborhood, near Milton.

Relatives described Tisdale as an upbeat, popular teenager who loved playing sports and spending time with his family and hoped to join the military after high school.

Craig Tisdale said Tisdale had reluctantly moved to North Carolina last year and thought he would only stay a few months.

Tisdale was “nothing but good,’’ he said, a great kid who always had a smile on his face.

Step-Sister: Delvonte Tisdale Ran Away

The step-sister of a missing North Charlotte teen, who is presumed dead, said Saturday that her brother ran away from home.

Delvonte Tisdale’s father, Anthony, told police he last saw his son Sunday night.

Monday night – just hours after Anthony Tisdale reported his son missing -- the shirtless, shoeless body of a young man was found in an upscale neighborhood in the Boston suburb of Milton, Massachusetts.

Milton police said the body was mangled beyond recognition, but a lunch pass in the pocket of the man’s jeans had Delvonte Tisdale’s name on it.

Neither Charlotte-Mecklenburg nor Milton police can confirm the body is Tisdale’s, but a CMPD investigator told NewsChannel 36 Saturday that they are almost certain it is.

The teen had just moved to Charlotte with his family this past summer, and Tisdale was enrolled in North Mecklenburg High School.

He was a member of the school’s Air Force Jr. ROTC program.

Tisdale’s step-sister, who asked not to be named, said Tisdale didn’t want to be in the military and didn’t like living in North Carolina.

She said Tisdale and his father fought often. “He and his real father used to get into fights, fist fights,” she said.

She said Tisdale and his father fought before he left.

She also said he was headed back to Baltimore to live with her or one of his many brothers and sister or other extended family members in the area.

She said he had gotten a ride with two friends, but she didn’t know them or where they were going, or how her brother ended up near Boston.

Thursday night, she posted on her Facebook page, “Today is the worst day of my life. I just found out my brother Delvonte Tisdale was found dead.”

Tisdale’s step-sister says her mother and Tisdale’s mother are both “heartbroken .. and can’t stop crying.”

Even though Tisdale has a large extended family of step-siblings and half-siblings, the woman says they are a close-knit family of more than a dozen children who consider themselves brothers and sisters.

Investigators returned to Anthony Tisdale’s north Charlotte home Saturday, and Delvonte Tisdale’s mother, Jonette Washington, also drove down from Maryland to talk to them.
The detectives said little about the case, other than they talked to “lots” of people on Saturday, and that there were several detectives on the case.

Investigators from Milton are also in Charlotte to try to piece together a timeline and confirm if the body found Monday is Delvonte Tisdale’s.

Two North Meck students who ride the bus with Tisdale shook their heads when they talked about Tisdale’s disappearance and apparent death.

“It’s kind of shocking to me,” said Brandon Lockhart, a senior at North Meck. “He was a cool kid, never bothered anybody. He just kept to himself -- just a normal teenager.” His brother Melvin, a junior, agreed. “I just hope they find out what happened, because it’s just kind of scary right here.”

Neighbor Carol Brinson said she spoke to Delvonte Tisdale and his father often, and they seemed like a nice family. She said the teen was quiet and polite, and always talked with respect.

“It’s bizarre -- just so bizarre what happened to this young man,” said Brinson. “ he could be in Charlotte one minute and then in the Boston area the next when they found him.”

She went on: “That’s why this is so shocking -- not that things don't happen to good kids but that it happened to a human being, and he was just a s sweet guy,” she said.

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Sources: Boston Globe, CNN, Curry College, Logan International Airport, McClatchy Newspapers, WCNC, Wikipedia, WSOC, Google Maps

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