A Apache Junction, Arizona teen who was “obsessed” with Into the Wild was found dead in Oregon a week after his parents reported him missing, reports the Daily Mail. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Johnathan Croom Was Found Dead
— The News-Review (@nrtoday) August 27, 2013
The body of 18-year-old Johnathan Croom was found dead Monday evening in a wooded area of Riddle, Oregon about 1,000 feet from his abandoned vehicle, Douglas County sheriff’s spokesman Dwes Hutson said in a statement. He was found in Riddle, Huton said foul play is not suspected and that Croom’s death is being treated as a suicide, although it is not yet known why the teenager would have wanted to take his own life.
2. He Was Missing Since Last Week
Croom was missing since last week. His mother said he was traveling alone and was supposed to be on his way back to Arizona after visiting a friend in Seattle.
3. Croom Was Obsessed With the Movie Into the Wild
Croom’s parents said he was “obsessed” with the 2007 film Into the Wild, which follows Christopher McCandless, a young man who gives up all of life’s material possessions to live in the Alaskan wilderness. According to Hutson, Croom recently told his friend in a text message that he wanted to run away.
“I think we have kind of a combination there,” Hutson said earlier Monday. “He talked with his parents about ‘Into the Wild,’ and in text messages we’ve looked at, he does specifically talk about running away, kind of just running away from his life.”
4. He Was Due to Start College on August 17
His mother, Monica Croom, said that the teen was due in Arizona on August 17 to start classes at Mesa Community College.
5. He is Described as a “Super Smart” Teenage Boy and Was Loved by Many
“John made us feel like he was OK, but he was really hurting inside,” his father said Tuesday. “It’s really important that we pay real close attention to what our kids are saying and that we remind them that we love them, because there are influences in the world that tell them otherwise. John is loved by many. I appreciate all the help and what everyone has done. My instincts told me this could happen. I’m trying to be strong for my community.”