PORTLAND — Authorities in Oregon say text messages found hours before the discovery of a missing college student’s body on a heavily-wooded hill were the first indication he planned to kill himself.
Johnathan Croom was found just 1,000 yards from the vehicle he abandoned near Riddle.
Douglas County sheriff’s spokesman Dwes Hutson said crews searching the area for days after Croom’s green SUV was found were looking for a live person. They called his name and made lots of noise, as they had since last week, but heard nothing back.
The discovery of the texts changed the nature of the search.
“That led us to believe that he was probably going to do this,” Hutson said. “In these kind of cases, sometimes people leave very detailed notes and instructions. Sometimes, you don’t.”
The Apache Junction, Ariz., college student was scheduled to drive home from Seattle and was due back Aug. 17.
Croom’s father said Monday night his son was grieving the end of a recent relationship.
“He was a young man who had a broken heart and headed out to try to find himself,” said David Croom, Johnathan’s father. “We’re looking forward to finding out exactly what happened.”
The teen had talked with his parents about the book “Into the Wild” and told a friend he wanted to run away.
Croom also talked to his parents about Christopher McCandless, whose journey to Alaska was documented in the book. McCandless gave up his worldly goods to live in the Alaska wilderness, only to die there, perhaps from eating wild potatoes.
Earlier this year, a 19-year-old from Oklahoma disappeared after talking to his parents about the same book and setting out to test himself against the Oregon wilderness.
Dustin Self’s truck was found in April on Steens Mountain in southeast Oregon. The last search for Self was in the spring, after snow melted, but it yielded no hints to his location.
Get daily headlines to your inbox
Start your day with our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning.
The holiest plant of the Christmas season may be a raggedy shrub with peeling bark that seems to grow best in a dusty backyard in Tempe, Ariz. This is Boswellia sacra, better known as the frankincense tree. The shrub’s gum resin is one of the three biblical gifts that the wise men bestowed on the infant Jesus. Until recently, Americans who wished to cultivate their…
The reality: That is not true, said Dr. Richard Koller, a Bend neurologist. A sneeze does increase the pressure inside the skull a little bit, he said. People have worried that sneezes may kill brain cells because other things that increase pressure on the brain, such as some types of stroke, can lead to brain cell death or even the death of the person. However,…
Q: The last few weeks, when I do a load of laundry, the water that is discharged smells like rotten eggs. I don’t think the odor is coming up from the drain, because that doesn’t smell. I have always cleaned the machine according to the recommendations, but when I do this now, it doesn’t help. Subsequent loads don’t trigger this smell, just the first load.…
Two years ago, Erin Matlock spent six months trying different medications to control her newly diagnosed ulcerative colitis. Some didn't work very well, others were too expensive. The 37-year-old elementary school teacher from Redmond finally settled on a drug called Asacol, an effective therapy that her health insurance would cover. But in June, she learned Asacol was being pulled from the market by the manufacturer,…
CHARLOTTE, N. C. — Gary Marshall found his daughter lying in bed, squeezing her temples and screaming. Her cheeks were red from fever, her eyes red from crying. She complained of a pounding headache, and was disoriented. She didn’t know where she was. She didn’t understand why there was a tree — their Christmas tree — in the living room. On the way to the…