Missing Into the Wild Teen Found Dead
Police believe Johnathan Croom's death was suicide
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 27, 2013 2:17 AM CDT
The body of18-year-old Johnathan Croom was found in southwest Oregon.   (AP Photo/Courtesy Monica Croom)

(Newser) – The father of an Arizona teenager whose body was found yesterday evening near his abandoned SUV in the woods of southern Oregon says his son was "a young man who had a broken heart." The body of Johnathan Croom, 18, was found about 1,000 feet from where his vehicle was found abandoned last week, a police spokesman says. The death is being investigated as a suicide.

The teen had talked with his parents about the book Into the Wild and told a friend he wanted to run away. Croom's father says his son was grieving the end of a relationship "and headed out to try to find himself." He thanked everyone who helped search for his son and added, "Please pray for our family."

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Aug 29, 2013 12:53 AM CDT
I am not sure if there are more lost souls today because of empty technological based raising or if it just appears to be that way. I've been an orienteering instructor going on 35 years and we would take a lot of kids out with various issues and bring them back as a congealed group of well trained wilderness hikers. I stay in contact with many of them who have had lots of kids by now and they want to find places we hiked to and make the foods we made and all that stuff. I was doing fine until a son of one of my first hikers came to me and said, "I want to hike like my dad did, can you suggest some places?" At that juncture, I was old coot for sure, which was one of my nicknames among others. My program is similar to outward bound but is more religious in nature. Well, we do all the orienteering and stuff but we have worship each night out in the wilderness of our state or national forests. Kids used to love going on these non-technology trips. Now its like pulling teeth to get a group together. But taking a timid kid who is sacred of everything that moves, and having them come out a leader is great to see. Taking an arrogant kid who knows everything and watching them fail and grow some meekness is also good. They need this more and more today. Technology does not build character. If anything it saps it out of the user. You walk into a mall or college campus and see hundreds of people all walking around with their heads buried in a phone oblivious to what is going on or who they pass. I guarantee you this will not happen on my backpacking trip. You will not get a connection unless you bring a Bgan phone.
Aug 28, 2013 11:21 AM CDT
So much of what teenagers feel is new to them. Speaking from what I remember as a teen, they feel that no one has ever suffered the kind of pain they're feeling. I think that's why they sometimes turn to suicide. I think everyone here can think of a time when that crossed their minds when they were that age. I know it sounds like a cliche, but I would like to tell every hopeless teenager that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will get over your loss and you will be happy again, I promise. Just give yourself that chance.
Aug 27, 2013 6:43 PM CDT
Lost my son the same way, a teenage broken heart, and couldn't think he could live threw it.. I remember that pain.