CINCINNATI -- Kyle Plush's family responded to the latest hearing into his death Wednesday by thanking the efforts of city leaders and expressing hope for a "state of the art Emergency Response Process" that can serve as a best practice model across the nation.
The family issued the following statement:
"On April 10th we experienced an unbearable tragedy that we pray no other family will ever have to endure. Our goal is to ensure the public knows, with full transparency, what happened on the day our beloved Kyle died. We believe that is the best way to prevent another unnecessary death.
"We are encouraged and thankful for the efforts from the Cincinnati City Council, Mayor Cranley, the acting City Manager and the Cincinnati Police Department for continuing to look inward for ways to improve policies and procedures to serve our community.
"We are also encouraged that the City Council requested and hired two private firms to investigate the events and actions on April 10th.
"These actions make us hopeful that our personal tragedy will result in a State of the Art Emergency Response Process that will make all families in our community safer and can be used as a best practice model for communities across the nation.
"Finally, we continue to be strengthened and humbled by the expressions of love, prayer and support."
Plush, 16, suffocated inside his minivan outside the Seven Hills School on April 10 despite making two calls to 911. Cincinnati police officers sent to the school never found him; instead, his father Ron discovered his lifeless body hours later.
Acting City Manager Patrick Duhaney announced Monday that two firms will lead an independent investigation into the how police and the city's 911 Center failed Plush, tackling different aspects of what went wrong:
21st Century Policing will focus on the police department's response, policies and procedures;
Mission Critical Partners will focus on the 911 center -- both the specific problems the day Plush died, and broader issues there.
The police department's own internal investigation largely exonerated the 911 operators, dispatchers and officers of wrongdoing, only faulting the officers for a violation of body camera policy. Elected officials were less certain, calling the internal investigation "incomplete."
"Kyle did everything he should've done -- everything a mom or dad would tell their child to do. And he was failed horribly," Councilwoman Amy Murray said at a hearing last month.
"The calltaker was wrong, the dispatch was wrong, the cops were wrong," Cranley told Plush's family at another hearing two weeks later. He and the City Council demanded the independent investigation.
On Tuesday, the Hamilton County >a href="http://bit.ly/2HHMyLf">Prosecutor's Office subpoenaed the city for its outside review into Plush's death, a move that could keep the process and report secret over the next several months.
Prosecutor Joe Deters is conducting his own investigation into Plush's death. He said he doesn't want information from the city's outside review to interfere with anyone's testimony, in case he decides to take a case to a grand jury.
The final report will be made public once his office can review it, he said.
"I just want to be able to preserve people in terms of talking about what happened without hearing outside stuff," he said.