December 22, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
42°F
 

Friend to teen: ‘All my memories with you are my favorite’

Hundreds of friends and family members gathered Tuesday to mourn Matthew Homyk, a Brunswick High School freshman who police say took his own life Friday.

The 14-year-old boy was the first of two suspected suicides of Brunswick High students in three days, police said.

Friends and family of 14-year-old Matthew Homyk pay their respects at Waite & Son Funeral Home in Brunswick. Matthew, a freshman, is one of two Brunswick High School students who has died since Friday. The other, senior Anthony Gill, died Monday. Police are investigating both deaths as suicides. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY NICK GLUNT)

Friends and family of 14-year-old Matthew Homyk pay their respects at Waite & Son Funeral Home in Brunswick. Matthew, a freshman, is one of two Brunswick High School students who has died since Friday. The other, senior Anthony Gill, died Monday. Police are investigating both deaths as suicides. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY NICK GLUNT)

On Monday morning, senior Anthony Gill was found dead in a backyard down the street from his Alda Parkway home in Brunswick.

Both boys died by hanging, police said. If their deaths are ruled suicides by the Medina County coroner, they would be the fifth and sixth suicides of teenage students in Medina County in just more than two years.

Spokesmen for Brunswick police and the Medina County Sheriff’s Office said the deaths were unrelated and the boys did not know one another.

“Our detectives and the Brunswick detectives have met and talked,” sheriff’s Capt. Kenneth Baca said. “After the initial investigation, we determined neither one of them knew the other or was related to each other in any way, shape or form.”

Brunswick police spokesman Nick Solar said the motive in Anthony’s was unknown.

“The why question is one that we may never get answered,” Solar said. “There was no note or anything.”

Kim Kurtz, a family friend and former neighbor of the Homyks when the family lived in Brunswick, before moving to Liverpool Township 1½ years ago, raised the possibility of bullying as a factor in Matthew’s death.

“He had a little bit of a stutter. It was hardly noticeable,” she said. “I didn’t realize it was a problem, but apparently he was getting picked on about it.”

“He was a great kid. He liked everyone and was such a sweetheart,” she said. “He had so much going for him.”

Matthew’s visiting hours, held Tuesday at Waite & Son Funeral Home on Center Road, drew weeping schoolmates and somber community members.

Teens embraced one another in the reception hall, where photos of happy moments from the youngster’s life depicted him on his Little League baseball teams, playing in the sand as a toddler and posing with his father, Ray, at an amusement park.

On a board nearby, friends could write their memories of him.

“My favorite memory of you was dancing together at Sean and Kim’s wedding,” one girl wrote.

Others favored snippets from middle and high school classes or personal moments while hanging out.

“All my memories with you are my favorite,” another girl wrote. “I can’t pick just one.”

Matthew’s funeral will be 11 a.m. today at Grace Baptist Church, 3480 Laurel Road, Brunswick. Visiting hours and the funeral for Anthony have not been announced.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.