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Grandfather Home for Children CEO Releases Statement About The Death of 14-Year-Old Found Below Mill Pond

By Jesse Wood

Aug. 8, 2013. Grandfather Home for Children CEO Jim Swinkola released a statement about the death of the 14-year-old boy found submerged below the spillway of the Mill Pond in Banner Elk on Monday evening.

The name of the boy who stayed at Grandfather Home for Children has not been released because he is a minor.

Although the death appears to be a freak accidental drowning, investigators with the Banner Elk Police Department are still looking at all possibilities. Results from an autopsy that was conducted Tuesday afternoon have not been released yet.

Swinkola’s statement is below:

“It is with great sadness that I report the August 5, 2013 accidental death of a member of the Grandfather Home family, a child in care at one of our cottages on the Banner Elk Hayes Campus.

A 14-year-old boy apparently was with his cottage hiking group, disappeared and then was found drowned just below the Mill Pond in Banner Elk.

We are focusing all of our current attention on the emotional well-being of other children in care as they process this tragedy.  Our concern includes all family members and friends of this child, as they move forward.

We also are cooperating fully with local authorities and other stakeholders as they investigate the death.  It appears to be a tragic accident, but full investigations are under way.

Please pray for family, children and staff at Grandfather Home as they deal with this crisis in their lives.”

For more information about the incident, click to a previous article here