Group Home: Teen Dies After Incident with Staff Member

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BEREA, Ohio -- The death of a 15-year-old male at an OhioGuidestone group home in Berea has been ruled a homicide.

According to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office, Kenneth Barkley, of Cleveland, died from "asphyxia during altercation."

In a statement released Wednesday from OhioGuidestone, Barkley died "after becoming violent with one of our staff members."

Police were called to OhioGuidestone's Mahler Group Home on Jan. 7 to reports of a juvenile resident who was unconscious. When officers arrived, Barkley was unconscious and was not breathing. They started CPR until EMS crews could respond.

Barkley was taken to Southwest General Hospital and was pronounced dead.

The statement released by OhioGuidestone Wednesday said:

"Time hasn't made this tragedy easier. Our prayers remain with Kenneth's family, friends and other residents. We are grateful for the concern of the entire community during this very traumatic time for our family at OhioGuidestone. We continue to stand by and support the staff members involved in this tragic event.

 We trust that continued focus on our mission, to strengthen children, families and communities will carry us through this difficult time."

No arrests have been reported in Barkley's death.

Berea police are continuing to investigate. Once the investigation is finished, it will be turned over to prosecutors. Prosecutors will then most likely take the case to a grand jury. It will be up to a grand jury to determine if any charges should be filed.

Officials will not say if the employee involved in the case is still employed at the facility.  They also will not say how long Barkley was at the group home.

A service was held at Malloy Esposito Funeral Home & Crematory for Barkley.

Funeral home officials say anyone who wants to leave a message for friends and family of Kenneth can do so by going CLICKING HERE.

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