Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

January 16, 2013

Manti Te’o’s touching tale was a hoax; Notre Dame officials say linebacker was a victim

(Continued)

GOSHEN —

Deadspin report

In their investigative report, Deadspin.com reporters Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey assert that there is no Social Security Administration record for the death of Lennay Marie Kekua and that her passing, recounted many times in the national media, produces no obituary or funeral announcement in Nexis, and no mention in the Stanford student newspaper.

The reporters also outlined that background checks on Lennay Kekua turn up nothing and that the Stanford registrar’s office has no record that a Lennay Kekua ever enrolled. Furthermore, Burke and Dickey report, there is no record of her birth in the news and that outside of a few Twitter and Instagram accounts, there’s no online evidence that Lennay Kekua ever existed.

“The photographs identified as Kekua — in online tributes and on TV news reports — are pictures from the social-media accounts of a 22-year-old California woman who is not named Lennay Kekua,” the report continued. “She is not a Stanford graduate; she has not been in a severe car accident; and she does not have leukemia. And she has never met Manti Te’o.”

Support at ND

The report raised questions as to how much Te’o and his family used the story of Kekua’s story to help advocate his Heisman credibility. Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown and Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick were quick to stand behind Te’o, who is expected to be a first-round NFL draft pick in a couple months.

In a statement Wednesday Brown indicated Te’o and his parents approached Notre Dame coaches about the possible hoax on Dec. 26.

“The University immediately initiated an investigation to assist Manti and his family in discovering the motive for and nature of this hoax,” Brown said. “While the proper authorities will continue to investigate this troubling matter, this appears to be, at a minimum, a sad and very cruel deception to entertain its perpetrators.” Swarbrick expanded on the statement during a press conference Wednesday night, calling the situation a “cruel, cruel hoax.” He even had to hesitate to keep from crying while talking about Te’o’s character.

Swarbrick said a private investigative firm was retained by the university to look into the matter. University officials do not plan to make that report public, Swarbrick added.

Swarbrick said Te’o first became suspicious during an ESPN awards show in Orlando, Fla. in early December 2012 when he received a call from what he recognized as Kekua’s phone number, and a voice he associated with Kekua. The contact continued for a time before dissipating, Swarbrick said.

Swarbrick said Te’o talked with his family and consulted with them before notifying university officials.

Most of the Notre Dame football team was not aware of the situation, Swarbrick said. Head coach Brian Kelly and defensive coordinator Bob Diaco were the two coaches Te’o approached first, he said.

Swarbrick added that Te’o plans to make his own public statement, possibly as soon as today.

Text Only
Local News
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results
AP Video
Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported