Trails Carolina Death Investigation – Missing Teenager Found Dead In Forest

Trails Carolina Death Investigation – Missing Teenager Found Dead In Forest
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In November 2016, authorities discovered the body of a teenager who had been missing for almost two weeks. The tragic incident occurred during a group camping trip in the Nantahala National Forest. The teenager, identified as Alec Sanford Lansing, 17, was last seen on November 10th after he walked away from a therapy program expedition at Trails Carolina – a wilderness therapy facility located in Lake Toxaway. The search efforts came to a devastating end when his body was found near the spot he had left the group. The circumstances surrounding this Trails Carolina death are still being investigated.

Tragedy Strikes as Teenager Vanishes from Trails Carolina Camp

Alec Sanford Lansing, a 17-year-old participant in the outdoor rehabilitation program Trails Carolina trip, was camping with the group in Lake Toxaway. When he decided to venture alone into the forest at around 2:30 p.m. on November 10th, 2014. Distressingly, he was reported missing at 6 o’clock that evening. Authorities promptly alerted law enforcement, providing them with Lansing’s description and last known location. Urging them to be on the lookout for the teenager. Despite the diligent efforts of a search party comprised of multiple agencies. The expansive search area and the challenging mountainous terrain made it increasingly difficult to locate him.

Aerial Survey

As part of the search operation, a helicopter was deployed to conduct an aerial survey to potentially locate Lansing. However, the thick forest canopy posed a significant obstacle, impeding visibility and the ability to spot any signs of the missing teenager. Queen, a spokesperson for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, mentioned that Lansing had been under the supervision of a counselor from Trails Carolina at the time of his disappearance. The counselor had witnessed Lansing walking away from the group. Adding to the urgency of the search in his trails carolina reviews.

Tragic Discovery

Several days later, investigators tragically discovered Lansing’s lifeless body near a small stream. Notably, they observed evidence of moss being removed from a tree that extended over the stream where his body was found. To determine the cause of death, an autopsy was conducted by Pathologist William Selby. The results unequivocally revealed hypothermia as the cause of death and revealed the presence of a prior broken hip, further complicating this Trails Carolina death.

As authorities delved into the trails carolina investigation, seeking to unravel the circumstances surrounding this tragic event, the Trails Carolina community and Lansing’s loved ones mourn the loss of a young life that ended far too soon.

Trails Carolina Death: Details

On November 10th, a firefighter saw someone who looked like the missing teen near a gas station in Cashiers. The visit was confirmed by an employee, but the store’s video footage couldn’t be viewed because of technical problems.

For about two weeks, rescue teams searched the tough and thick Nantahala National Forest region. Many different agencies helped from three counties. On November 22nd, the search coordinator, Queen, said that Lansing’s body had been found “not very far” from where he first camped with Trails Carolina.

The body was found in a secluded forest area, so the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement requested an autopsy to find out exactly how Lansing died.

Sheriff David Mahoney was worried, especially because of what happened in September in the county. Criminal activities caused a lot of problems and used up a lot of resources. Mahoney stressed the importance of working with the camp owners and directors to make sure the community is safe.

Mahoney believed that Trails Carolina and the kids at the camp are not a daily threat to the community. But one bad incident can create a dangerous situation, like what happened in September. He remembered how everyone was on edge during that time in the community of Silversteen. As a sheriff, this is always a concern.

Journalists tried to get a comment from Trails Carolina officials about this incident and trails carolina horror stories. But they didn’t respond before we released this information.

Trails Carolina Death: Tragic Accident Revealed

The recent findings of investigators suggest that Lansing, tragically, had climbed the tree before slipping and falling into the shallow stream, resulting in a broken hip that left him unable to move.

In the days leading up to the incident, the National Weather Service reported that temperatures dropped to 40, 48, and 45 degrees on Nov. 10, 11, and 12, respectively. While these temperatures alone could have caused hypothermia, Lansing’s condition may have worsened due to his immersion in the water.

Research has proven that the human body cools significantly faster in the water as compared to being exposed to the open air, with a cooling rate 25 times faster when submerged. The duration for which Lansing’s body remained in the stream remains uncertain at this time.

When Graham Shannonhouse, the executive director of Trails Carolina, was approached for comment, he conveyed deep sorrow. In his email response on Wednesday, he mentioned that they were completely devastated by Alec’s tragic accident. They also extended their sincere condolences to his family and friends during this incredibly challenging period.

He also extended gratitude towards the local agencies and their dedicated staff who contributed to the search efforts. The organization deeply mourns this devastating outcome.

Trails Carolina Death Incident

The Trails Carolina Death incident marks the second occasion in less than two months where young individuals enrolled at Trails Carolina left the facility without permission.

On Sept. 29, two male teenagers, aged 15 and 16, departed from the camp. Triggering an extensive search in the Silversteen Road area of Transylvania County.

The search efforts involved numerous county agencies, such as the North Carolina SBI, Highway Patrol, U.S. Forest Service, and authorities from neighboring counties.

The following afternoon, the two teenagers were located and subsequently charged with several felonies for alleged break-ins and theft from unoccupied homes in the area, including the theft of firearms.

While the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office was not directly involved in the search for Lansing. Sheriff David Mahoney voiced concern regarding these two incidents. Particularly the criminal activities associated with the Transylvania case.

Bottom Line

The tragic death of Alec Sanford Lansing in the Nantahala National Forest serves as a somber reminder of the inherent dangers and risks associated with outdoor therapy programs. As investigations into the circumstances surrounding his death continue. It is essential for wilderness therapy facilities like Trails Carolina to prioritize safety and security measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.

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