NBC New York
Hundreds of mourners packed a New Jersey church to say goodbye to the 15-year-old student who was found dead at his home after school last week. Brian Thompson reports.
Hundreds of mourners packed a New Jersey church to say goodbye to the 15-year-old student who was found dead at his home after school last week.
The apparent suicide of Lennon Baldwin, a freshman at Morristown High School, is being investigated as a potential case of bullying by the Morris County Prosecutor.
Lennon's father, John Baldwin, issued a call to action to the kids in attendance at his son's funeral Monday morning at United Methodist Church in Morristown.
"You can't sit there and beat yourself up. It's not going to bring back Lennon," John Baldwin said. "The message I want to do for the kids ... there is no problem, whatever you're involved in, nothing, nothing, nothing that you can't go to your parents for. It's unconditional love, every parent has it."
The funeral service included a musical performance by Baldwin's classmates in the Morristown Choral Octet. His older brother also participated in the musical tributes.
The Rev. Neill Tolboom called Baldwin a "precious child" and pleaded with mourners to be kinder to one another -- and to all with whom they interact.
"Some of our youth can't see hope and when people can't see hope, people die," Tolboom said. "Be kinder and gentler to each other, please. We've all failed."
Last week, distraught friends and family remembered Baldwin, a championship bowler and accomplished musician who loved camping and thought Yosemite was the most beautiful place in the world.
He was known as an animal enthusiast who always wanted a St. Bernard and treated his cats as human beings. He loved riding his skateboard with friends and spent hours with his headphones on playing Xbox, his family said.
In his obituary, Baldwin's parents wrote: "What Lennon really wanted was to be loved, respected, and accepted by his peers. Now Lennon is finally at peace."
Investigators from the Morris County Prosecutor's Office Computer Crimes Unit, who are taking part in the probe, have not indicated what type of bullying Baldwin may have endured.
Maureen Adamo, Baldwin's Cub Scout leader, said her son saw Baldwin days ago and "said he seemed to be OK."
Baldwin's bowling coach was shocked by his sudden death.
"He wasn't the kid standing in the corner, disheveled," said Joe Mottola, who spent every Saturday morning with him for the last four years. "He was with the mix, he was with everybody."
Supporters set up a memorial page for Baldwin on Facebook that quickly filled with condolences.
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