ATLANTA A forensic autopsy is scheduled today for a 16-year-old boy discovered dead near his home. Travis Allen Armstrong was found at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on Culver Road, a few hundred yards from his family's driveway. He had removed his shoes and his jacket.
Atlanta Community Schools Superintendent Don Haskin said grief counselors and pastors would greet students today at 8 a.m., especially some 25 to 30 sophomores who knew Armstrong, when he was a student there. Armstrong has been homeschooled since this fall.
"Everybody's shocked. It's just a tragedy," said Haskin. "I got my entire staff all meeting together. We're going to be there for the kids."
Haskin said he's never handled a tragedy like this as an educator. "It's new territory, but I've been working on this for the last 36 hours.
The community of Altanta also is in turmoil, Haskin said, and residents also can come to the school for counseling.
Chuck Whitmire, cousin of the youth, said it looked as if the 16-year-old had become ill and had been dropped off a few hundred yards from his house.
"The only thing we know is that he was at a party with friends," said Whitmire, an emergency medical technician, adding that alcohol and drugs could have been involved.
"It's so absolutely unbelievable," Whitmire said. "If he was with his friends and he was in distress ... I'm very upset that they didn't try to get him some help."
Whitmire described the boy's parents as "completely inconsolable at this point. The grandparents are the same way."
"Everybody seemed to like him," Whitmire said. "He had a great personality, loved the outdoors, loved to ride his four-wheeler."
The Montmorency County Sheriff's Office requested help from Michigan State Police troopers and detectives after Armstrong's body was found. Although a preliminary investigation does not indicate foul play, investigators are asking anyone with information should call the MSP Alpena Post at 354-4101.
Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5693.