Cincinnati council member apologizes to Plush family

Kyle Plush death investigation: Cincinnati police chief releases details in initial probe 

Kyle Plush, the 16-year-old Cincinnati boy who died after he was pinned in the back seat of his minivan, was unable to communicate properly with dispatchers because his phone was in his back pocket, despite voice-dialing 911, according to an initial police investigation.

>> ‘Tell my mom that I love her if I die,’ teen pleads as van seat fatally crushes him

Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac presented the results of an internal investigation before the City Council's law and safety committee Monday morning, providing details of the 911 call and the police response.

>> RELATED: Kyle Plush investigation: City cancels meeting about teen’s death

The investigation found Kyle’s phone was in his pocket when he called 911 using Apple’s “Siri” technology. However, Kyle was not able to give back and forth answers to the dispatcher, and the phone disconnected his call. 

>> How did the Cincinnati teen become trapped, suffocate in van seat?

Isaac said the first dispatcher didn’t hear Kyle’s initial comment that he was “going to die here” because he spoke during an automated “what is your emergency” response message. 

>> TIMELINE: 911 calls, officers’ response to Kyle Plush death

Officers initially believed they were searching for an elderly woman locked in her vehicle needing help and were not given information from the initial 911 call that someone was banging and screaming for help, according to the investigation. 

>> Who was Kyle Plush? Community remembers teen crushed to death by van seat

Isaac said officers determined they could search a bigger area and see more by staying in their cruiser.

>> Family of Kyle Plush storms out of Cincinnati special council meeting

Kyle's father, Ron Plush, said Monday he still had multiple questions about what happened despite a police investigation into his son's death.

>> Councilman apologizes for comments to Plush family amid calls for resignation

"I was expecting that by hearing the police report today many of my questions would be answered," Ron said, "This is not the case."

Ron Plush asked authorities why officers weren't notified that his son was screaming for help in a 911 call, and whether exact GPS coordinates existed for his son's location and if so, why weren't those given to police officers.

Mayor John Cranley told Plush he would receive written responses to every question and called the police report on the case incomplete.

Cranley opened Monday's meeting by saying the city failed in its response to the 911 call.

"In all cases we can do better, we should do better, we must do better," Cranley said.

The boy's aunt, also attending Monday's meeting, noted that Kyle Plush's voicemail included his name, and was not a generic message.

If authorities knew the name "Kyle" and that the call was from someone near a school, they had enough to do a proper search minutes after the call was received, said Jodi Schwind.

Council members also questioned why officers didn't just search all the vans in the parking lot that day.

"Kyle did everything he should have done, everything a mom, a dad, would tell their child to do, he did," said Councilwoman Amy Murray. "And he was failed horribly."

The Hamilton County sheriff's office, which also dispatched a deputy that day, is also investigating, as is the county Prosecutor's Office.

Council members scheduled a meeting May 29 for police to provide answers to questions raised Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


More than a month after Kyle Plush suffocated in his van after calling 911 twice, Cincinnati’s police chief will present a report on the case this morning.

The Cincinnati City Council’s Law and Public Safety Committee will meet at 9 a.m. to hear from Chief Eliot Isaac on what went wrong the day Plush died, according to our partners at WCPO in Cincinnati.

The meeting had originally been scheduled for earlier this month, but was canceled when the county prosecutor served the city with a subpoena. 

“We want to review the CPD report on the Kyle Plush matter before any videos or still pictures are released,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said in a statement at the time of the subpoena.

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