The beginning of the holiday season has been filled with sadness for the family of 16-year-old Delvonte Tisdale, a teen with Baltimore roots whose mutilated body was discovered in an affluent suburb of Boston earlier this month.

But exactly how he was killed remains a mystery.

Police said Tisdale’s body, which could only be identified through fingerprints, was found on a street in the town of Milton, Mass. on Nov. 15, missing both a shirt and shoes.

Delvonte’s father, Anthony Tisdale Sr., reported his son missing on Nov. 14. The elder Tisdale moved his son from Baltimore to Charlotte, N.C. about a year ago.

Investigators are looking at the possibility the teen fell to his death from an airplane. According to Boston NBC affiliate WCVB, police are examining flight records from Logan International Airport. Airport spokesman Phil Orlandella confirmed that the town of Milton is on the path of planes approaching Logan.

Police believe Tisdale may have stowed away on a plane, perhaps in its wheel well, in an ill-fated attempt to go back to Baltimore. Some speculate Tisdale was unhappy in his new home in North Carolina.

According to the Associated Press, Delvonte’s older brother, who still lives in Baltimore, said Delvonte was miserable in North Carolina and had never wanted to leave Baltimore.

“He was very strict,” Anthony Tisdale Jr., 21, said of his father. “My brother hated it there.”

“My brother just wanted to come home…he just couldn’t take it there,” he added. However, Anthony Tisdale, Sr., maintains his younger son was adjusting to his new life and was, “ecstatic about being in Charlotte.”

“My son was a hard-working young man,” he told reporters outside his home in North Carolina recently. “He didn’t frequent the streets. He didn’t listen to a lot of out of the way music, he played video games. He spent time with his family, we did projects around the house and he loved the ROTC.”

Some of Tisdale’s family members believe the teen got into a car with two friends who were headed to Boston the night of Nov. 14, and that he had wanted to be dropped off in Baltimore. According to police reports he was last seen in Charlotte –about a 16-hour drive from Boston – around 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 14. Police have impounded two cars as a part of the investigation.

Ultimately, the mysterious circumstances surrounding Tisdale’s death only compound the grief of his family.

“It’s a hard loss for us,” said Anthony Tisdale Sr. “It’s a difficult thing for us to accept, because I still can’t believe my son isn’t with us.”

Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor