Sheriff: Lost 5-Year-Old Didn't Survive First Night

He lay down in forest and never woke up
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2015 3:45 AM CDT
Updated Aug 12, 2015 6:44 AM CDT
Sheriff: Lost 5-Year-Old Didn't Survive First Night
Police released this photo of Jerold.   (Coconino County Sheriff's Office)

Jerold Joseph Williams, the 5-year-old boy who died after wandering off to chase grasshoppers during a camping trip, appears to have died of exposure, the local sheriff's office says—but his ordeal wasn't prolonged and he didn't suffer at the very end. Instead, a sheriff's office spokesman says, it appears that the lost boy simply lay down in the forest to rest and never woke up, the Arizona Republic reports. The boy disappeared last Thursday and his body was found on Monday afternoon around 3.7 miles from his family's campsite in Kaibab National Forest. Investigators believe Jerold didn't survive the first night, which was cold and wet.

The police spokesman says there was no sign of foul play and no obvious injuries. His body was spotted about 15 to 20 feet from the road, and investigators believe that instead of going through thick undergrowth, Jerold managed to make his way to Forest Road 240 and follow it to Forest Road 241, but he went in the direction away from the campsite. More than 1,000 people, many of them from Jerold's hometown, joined the search for him. The police spokesman says his body was found outside the 21-square-mile "main focus" area of the search, which is based on factors that include the missing person's profile, the Republic reports. (More missing child stories.)

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