12-Year-Old Child Dies Hours After Arriving at Wilderness Camp

Jacob Biba for The Washington Post via Getty Images
Jacob Biba for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A 12-year-old boy’s death at a North Carolina wilderness camp for troubled teens has been called “suspicious” by investigators because it occurred less than 24 hours after he arrived.

The Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office said the boy, who has not been identified, was taken to the “therapeutic” Trails Carolina Camp in Lake Toxaway on Feb. 3, after which he was assigned to a cabin with other minors.

The next morning, however, staff discovered that the boy was not breathing, authorities said. When first-responders arrived, they attempted to resuscitate the boy before realizing that he had been dead for some time.

A forensic pathologist said the boy’s death did “not appear to be natural,” according to the sheriff's office, which noted that Trail’s Carolina has “not completely cooperated” with their investigation. Trails Carolina refuted this claim in a statement on Friday.

This is the second death at Trails Carolina in the last decade, according to NBC News. In 2014, 17-year-old Alec Lansing was separated from his group on a hike and died of hypothermia.

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