BALCH SPRINGS, TX – The lifeless body of a 16-year-old boy was discovered outside Gray Elementary School in Balch Springs early Tuesday morning, leaving the community in shock and prompting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.
Balch Springs Police responded to a distressing scene around 7:40 a.m. when an unresponsive boy was found in a grassy area near some trees in front of Gray Elementary School, situated in the 3500 block of Pioneer Road. Concerned parents and passersby attempted CPR, but their efforts were in vain. First responders, upon arrival, tragically pronounced the child, identified as Lamarya Marquez Dewaine Sanders, deceased.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the young victim’s identity. It was clarified by Mesquite Independent School District (ISD) that Sanders was not a current student at Gray Elementary School, and there were no safety concerns for the campus.
On Tuesday night, officials disclosed that Sanders was a former student within Mesquite ISD, having previously attended Berry Middle School but withdrew in 2021.
The circumstances surrounding the boy’s death remain unclear. Balch Springs Police indicated that they do not suspect foul play and that it appeared he became incapacitated overnight. However, the exact cause of death remains undetermined, pending toxicology reports that can take several weeks.
Investigators are currently reviewing security footage from the area surrounding the school in the hopes of shedding light on the events leading up to this tragic discovery.
Mesquite ISD temporarily placed the school on a hold during the initial stages of the police investigation. Students were instructed to remain in their classrooms while authorities cleared the area and gathered evidence. Once the crime scene tape was removed, and on-site investigations concluded outside the school, the hold was lifted.
The investigation is ongoing, with authorities urging anyone with information to contact the Balch Springs Police.