Police in Gillette, Wyoming said this
week that they are investigating hate crimes surrounding the death of
a gay Native American man.
Trevor O'Brien's body was found late
Tuesday in a park, the Gillette News Record reported.
The Gillette Police Department has
ruled the death a suicide, though the local coroner has yet to weigh
in on how the 20-year-old O'Brien died.
The police department “has begun an
investigation into details surround the incident, including rumors of
hate crimes that may have been directed at O'Brien,” the paper
O'Brien's mother in 2012 reported to
police that her son's car had been vandalized. An image the younger
O'Brien posted on Facebook in December, 2015 shows a black sedan with
the word “fag' chalked on the side along with a crude depiction of
“Thank you to whoever egged and
chalked my car,” he wrote. “I've always wanted a decal on the
side of my car.”
Family members told KTVQ that O'Brien
was bullied for being openly gay and that “no one did anything
He “felt he had no one to turn to for
told the station.
News Record said that O'Brien was the fourth young person in
the county to commit suicide in 2016.