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Death still a mystery

The authorities have not determined how 17-year-old Joe Hunter of North Summit died March 17 around 12:40 a.m.

"This is the second death in the North Summit junior class since October," said Capt. Alan Siddoway, a Summit County Sheriff’s Office death investigator.

Justen Hale, a popular athlete at the school, died last fall in a car crash.

Grief counselors were at North Summit High School in Coalville this week to comfort students struggling to cope with the death.

"We had our school resource officers assigned to North Summit to also answer any questions that people may have regarding the case," Summit County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Sherm Farnsworth said. "It’s definitely a hardship when a teenager passes away and it’s not expected. It’s difficult for people to deal with."

State medical examiners had not determined the cause of death by the end of the week, Farnsworth said.

Hunter was found dead after a deputy noticed a suspicious vehicle near the Summit County Fairgrounds and followed the car to a trailer park in Coalville, where the boy was found unresponsive and slumped over "between the front passenger seat and the rear seat," a Sheriff’s Office press release states.

The officer removed the boy from the vehicle and performed CPR, but was unable to revive him.

"There was no indication there had been any traumatic injury or foul play," Farnsworth said, not expecting detectives to make any arrests in the case. "But with the investigation still going, [arrests] could be a possibility."

Five people were inside the vehicle when it was stopped, Siddoway said.

"Alcohol is involved in the entire incident and we’re investigating into its involvement in the death itself," Siddoway said. "He was not beaten to death and he did not have any glaring injuries."


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