Taylor Marine recruit's death sparks hazing investigation

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Raheel Siddiqui

Did hazing play a role in the death of a young marine recruit? Taylor man Raheel Siddiqui passed away in the spring and his death was first ruled a suicide.

But after a further investigation it appears the death could be criminal.

Raheel Siddiqui's family wants answers. Their 20-year-old son who was 11 days in the boot camp in South Carolina when this happened.

The family didn't believe what the Marines were telling him, saying Raheel died from falling down three flights of stairs. His family contends there might be something criminal. They have been joined by the U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingle D-Michigan in their calls for action, which appear to be gaining traction.

The family contends that Raheel is Muslim and that could have been a role in his death

On Thursday, the Marine Corps general in charge of education and training said the service is investigating allegations of hazing, assault and physical abuse involving 15 drill instructors at Parris Island.

The Naval Criminal Investigation Service has said 20-year-old Raheel Siddiqui of Taylor, Michigan, died after falling nearly 40 feet in a stairwell at the installation.

"I want justice and I want to know what happened to my son," said Ghazala Siddiqui.

"He was a determined and motivated person," said Sidra Siddiqui, his sister. "Everybody loved being around him. He had a big bright smile and was always there to help other people. He was caring, sweet and honest.

"He was a great brother on top of that.

The family's attorney Nabih Ayad said that the family was skeptical from the start.

"The family and I felt from day one there was foul play," he said. "We felt that there is something that is absolutely not being construed to the family. The fact that a commander of Parris Island and two higher ups were discharged, along with two higher ups. And (there is) now a full blown investigation of 15 individuals, it really gives credence to our belief and the fact that there is something terribly wrong with Parris Island."

The investigation is one of three ongoing investigations into this death. The family says it wants to make sure it does not happen to any other Marine.

The family said that at this point they want to see where the investigation goes before looking into filing a lawsuit.

--The Associated Press contributed to this report.