Kyle Plush remembered as vibrant, kind: 'Everybody really just adored him'

Loved ones remember Kyle Plush
Published: Apr. 13, 2018 at 1:53 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 13, 2018 at 3:50 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Kyle Plush is remembered as a bright and determined teen who never let life hold him back.

As authorities investigate the tragic death of the 16-year-old Anderson Township teen, whose body was found in a van this week, family friends are attempting to provide comfort through prayer at Mercy Montessori.

In the classroom, teachers saw a bright future for Kyle, a strong and independent student with a tender heart and a love for those around him.

"Kyle's gentle spirit made it a joy for others to be around him. We lovingly remember Kyle as creative, vibrant, and kind," said Patty Normile.

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The teen's death has been ruled accidental. On Thursday, it was revealed he called 911 twice from inside the vehicle, the second of those calls taking place while officers were at the scene searching for him.

"That 2nd 911 call -- something has gone terribly wrong," said Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac at a news conference. "This young man was crying out for help. We weren't able to get that information to officers on the scene and we need to find out why."

Cincinnati police, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters have all launched investigations.

Meanwhile, the dispatcher who took Kyle's second 911 call, Amber Smith, was placed on paid administrative leave and has yet to be formally interviewed by police or publicly speak about Tuesday's events.

She was honored last year for helping to track a 9-year-old girl trapped in a car while her parents overdosed on heroin on Quebec Avenue late March 18, police have said.

The call and Smith's fast work to calm the scared child and use cell phone technology to track the location of the family's SUV saved their lives, police have said.

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Hours after Kyle's calls, the teen's parents heard from one of his friends who said he never showed up to a tennis match.

The family used an app to track Kyle's phone to the school parking lot, where his father found the unlocked van.

Inside, he discovered his son crushed by the third row of seats.

Jackie Taggart-Boyd said Kyle and her son Spencer were friends and classmates and Seven Hills.

Kyle was something special, she recalled, describing him as the life of the party.

She said Spencer called him the most positive person he'd ever met.

"Everybody really just adored him," she said.

School records show Kyle played trumpet in middle school. He also took part in the National Latin Exam and got a gold medal. He made his way to the Ohio Junior Classical League Convention in Columbus just last month.

Kyle also competed in Certamen events -- a game where you have to quickly recall facts about culture - and starred in a play in 2015.

This year, the young man was a member of the tennis team.

The day he died, he was to have played his first match, Taggart-Boyd said.

Kyle was a big supporter of Sole Brothers, too. The non-profit focuses on giving shoes to youth in need worldwide.

At one of the fundraisers, Taggart-Boyd said she walked into the room and found Kyle in the center of the dance floor, 120 students around him, cheering him on.

That, Taggart-Boyd says, is a true testament to the person Kyle was.

A 2015 biography on Kyle, published for the school play, mentioned that he also enjoyed skiing and biking.

Taggart-Boyd said her son and some of Kyle's other classmates told her that right now they're doing OK, as long as they stick together.

Visitation will be 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at T.P. White & Sons Funeral Home, 2050 Beechmont Ave., Mt. Washington.

Kyle's funeral will be 9:30 a.m. Monday at St. Rose Church, 2501 Riverside Dr., East End.

The family is asking for memorial donations to go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati, 350 Erkenbrecher Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229.

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