Child Dies One Day After Enrollment at Controversial North Carolina Therapy Camp

( – Camps posing as rehabilitation centers for troubled teens pepper the country, but sometimes their credibility is lacking, and defenseless children and teens are left at the mercy of wherever they’ve ended up. Even camps with proven track records and seemingly positive reputations can end in disaster. And sometimes, these kids never make it home.

On February 7, the New York Post reported on the death of a 12-year-old boy who died after just a single day at a “nature-based therapy program” in North Carolina. The boy, whose identity has yet to be released to the public, was taken by two men from New York to the Trails Carolina Camp in Lake Toxaway just outside of Asheville. After arriving, the child was placed in a cabin, and four adult members were supposedly in charge of the cabin.

According to a press release from Sheriff Chuck Owenby at the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office, camp staff called 911 in the early morning hours of February 3, less than 24 hours after the boy arrived. The child was not breathing, and despite alleged CPR attempts from the staff, emergency crews reported the pre-teen had already been dead “for some time.”’ While an exact cause of death from the February 6 autopsy has not been revealed, the forensic pathologist said preliminary results show the death was not natural.

This is not the program’s first death. In 2014, 17-year-old Alec Lansing died from hypothermia after running away from Trails Carolina. Despite the minor’s death, the program was allowed to continue operation after paying a $12,000 fine. Kathleen Reilly, another camp-goer, detailed her harrowing experience at Trails Carolina Camp when she was only 16. She claimed they “used lies,” “manipulation and shaming” at the camp. She prayed every night to get her out of there.

Owenby stated in his press release that the 12-year-old’s death “appeared suspicious” simply because he wasn’t even at the camp for 24 hours before he died.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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