|Missing Arizona Teen Found Dead in Oregon|
|By ANTHONY CASTELLANO (@AntCastellano) and RUSSELL GOLDMAN (@GoldmanRussell)||Aug 27, 2013, 3:32 AM|
The body of an Arizona teen who had been missing since last week was found Monday night in a wooded area of southern Oregon, police said.
Authorities found Johnathan Croom, 18, about 1,000 feet from where his vehicle was found abandoned last week, Douglas County sheriff's spokesman Dwes Hutson said in a statement. His death is being investigated as a suicide, police said.
Croom was last seen around Aug. 16 after visiting a friend in Seattle. He was expected back in Arizona this past weekend.
Croom, who was about to start college in Mesa, sent a final text message last week to a friend, saying he wanted to go "on an adventure," according to his father.
Croom's parents were convinced their son was inspired by the 2007 film "Into the Wild," a true story about a young man who enters the Alaskan wilderness with limited skills and supplies, only to starve to death several months later.
Police, however, said Croom's activity before he went missing was not consistent with someone setting off for a wilderness adventure and is not in danger. More likely, cops said, Croom "wanted to check out for while."
"This is an 18-year-old man, an adult free to do what he wants," Hutson said Monday before Croom's body was found.
"It is not unheard of to not want to be found. We are doing some limited searches to make sure he's not in trouble or hurt. ... If he wanted to walk off, or check out of society, there's no law against that."