His name was Raekwon Jones. He was 15, and he was loved.
There’s still so much we don’t know about the teenager found early Friday, burned, on top of a SEPTA train.
Just how the teen got on top of the train. Why he was there. Why his electrocuted body wasn’t discovered until after the train left Suburban Station and arrived at Jefferson.
Who, if anyone, is culpable in his death.
But this much seems clear. “He was a good kid,” said Nadeem Bezar, a lawyer with Kline & Specter.
The rest will come out soon enough, but I had hoped to find out a little about the teen, so I went to the Mill Creek neighborhood Wednesday morning, where his mother, Jeanette, lives, to see if we could talk. She directed me to her lawyer.
The investigation into what happened is just beginning, Bezar said.
But he shared a few things he thought people should know before they filled in their own blanks.
Jones and his older brother were not in foster care because of abuse, he said, but because of housing issues.
His mom had recently secured housing and regained custody of her older son; Raekwon was going to follow soon.
“He was just a good kid who ran,” Bezar said, which raises another question: If he was a runner, why wasn’t he placed in a more secure environment? In a story written by my colleague Jason Laughlin, a spokeswoman for Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services would not comment on whether Jones had any relationship with that department. The agency provides information about children who die as a result of abuse or neglect, she said.
Jones had already run away from his foster home once, and found his way to his mother. His mother, not wanting to break the rules, reported him, and he was put back into the foster home.
He ran again, and was missing until his body was found on top of a Regional Rail train at Jefferson Station the day after Thanksgiving.
As if this couldn’t get any more tragic, there was one more thing about Raekwon:
He loved trains.