REPORT: Police Investigating Therapy Camp As 12-Year-Old Boy Dies One Day After Checking In

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Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Police reportedly launched an investigation into a wilderness therapy camp in North Carolina after the death of a 12-year-old boy, who passed away one day after checking in, was confirmed Monday.

Staff reported found the child unconscious after a night of sleep at Trails Carolina by staff Feb. 3. The child “could not be resuscitated by emergency personnel” after staff called 911 around 8 a.m., a news release from the camp said Tuesday, according to WLOS.

“We are shattered by the tragic loss of a young life and our deepest sympathies are with the student’s family and loved ones,” the camp wrote in a statement. “Our priority is to acknowledge and respect the unfathomable impact on their lives and maintain the integrity of the investigation into the cause.”

Transylvania County Sheriff Chuck Owens said an internal investigation into the child’s death, which he confirmed on Monday, is underway. The camp said it is fully cooperating with the investigation, the outlet reported.

“While we understand the need and value of keeping the public informed, protecting the family’s privacy and the privacy and well-being of our students and staff is our primary concern,” the camp’s statement read.

This is not the first time a child died during the wilderness therapy program. Alec Lansing, who was 17 years old when he went missing at Trails Carolina, was found dead on Nov. 25, 2023, WYFF 4 reported. (RELATED: Police Find Missing Athlete Dead In River After He Reportedly Committed Suicide)

Lansing walked away from the camp on Nov. 10 and was found in a stream after police conducted a mass search for the missing teenager, according to the outlet. Investigators believe Lansing, whose autopsy attributed his death to hypothermia, broke his hip after falling into the body of water from a tree he climbed.