The body of missing Arizona teenager Johnathan Croom was found Monday in Oregon and it is believed the 18-year-old committed suicide, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office announced.
“At about [6:30 p.m. Monday], the body of Johnathan Croom was located. His death is being investigated as a suicide. His body was located about 1000 feet from where the vehicle was abandoned in a wooded area,” said the statement from Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin. The sheriff said Croom’s family was notified of his death.
Croom, of Apache Junction, Ariz., was heartbroken over a failed relationship with “someone in Phoenix,” his father, David Croom, told the Associated Press.
"He was a young man who had a broken heart and headed out to try to find himself," David Croom said. "We're looking forward to finding out exactly what happened."
Johnathan Croom was supposed to be back in Arizona on Aug. 17 to start college in Mesa, his mother, Monica Croom, told the AP. She said her son was traveling alone and was supposed to be heading home from Seattle, where he was visiting a friend.
Before the body of his dead son was recovered in Oregon, David Croom thought his son was attempting to seek out the type of adventure depicted in the 2007 film, “Into the Wild.” In the movie, which was based on real events, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) shuns material possession and lives in the Alaskan wilderness. McCandless eventually dies trying to survive in nature.
"We're talking about a kid who has been almost obsessed with this particular movie," Johnathan Croom’s father told ABC News two days before his son’s body was found. "My concern is that he's out there with very limited resources and not a lot of experience."
David Croom added that his son sent his friend a text message about going “on an adventure.”
"She says, 'I hope you enjoy your adventure. Hello? Johnathan? Are you there?'" David Croom told "Good Morning America" about his son’s last communication. "That's the last time."
Before Johnathan Croom’s body was found, Douglas County sheriff’s spokesman Dwes Huston addressed the possibility that the 18-year-old had a wish for an adventure.
"I think we have kind of a combination there," Hutson told the AP earlier on 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."
The 18-year-old’s body was found near his abandoned SUV in a wooded area in southern Oregon. Last week, his SUV was found in Riddle, Ore., about 1,000 feet from where his remains were located.
Howard Koplowitz reports on crime and breaking news events for International Business Times. Howard formerly worked on IBT's continuous news desk, where he covered trending...