Community mourns after boy commits suicide
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. -- - Clifford Rodrigues, 12, took his life on Tuesday, just one year after his friend hanged himself.
Rodrigues’ mother, Christina Duarte, found him in his grandmother's closet Tuesday afternoon.
"I told him he was punished, and he got mad and went upstairs. And I thought he was going to put music on in my mother's room like he usually does or just lay there. But I didn't know that he had intentions to do that," said Christina Duarte, the boy's mother.
Investigators say Clifford hanged himself after he was suspended from school for a day. They say Clifford was involved in a fight. Punches were thrown and the sixth grader punched back.
Near a growing memorial on Wednesday, Duarte remembered her son as a fun loving boy.
“He’s always joking around ‘cause that’s all he does. He plays around too much. But I guess this time…I don’t know what triggered it,” said Duarte.
Duarte thinks her son may have copied a friend of his, an 11-year-old New Bedford boy who committed suicide by hanging last year.
The district attorney says his office will investigate whether bullying was involved, but Clifford’s mom says she doesn't think so.
“No, he wasn’t bullied. Far as I know he wasn’t bullied. But he’d be having conflict at school with some kids and stuff like that, but I don’t think it’s bullying. I don’t think so. I just don’t understand why. I don’t know why,” Duarte said.
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