Teen Obsessed With 'Into the Wild' Found Dead

Car abandoned in the wilderness

(Douglas County Sheriff's Office)
Photo: Douglas County Sheriff's Office johnathan croom into the wild missing dead found movie emulate following copy 2007 john krakauer

An 18-year-old believed to have been increasingly obsessed with the movie, Into the Wild, at the time of his disappearance has been found dead in rural Oregon. Police, who found Johnathan Croom’s body 1,000 feet from his abandoned car, suspect no foul play and are investigating the teen’s death as a suicide.

According to the boy’s father, David Croom, Johnathan had been showing a strong interest in the movie over the past six months and possibly wanted to follow in the footsteps of the film’s subject, Chris McCandless. "Maybe he said, 'I want to do it.' That's our theory, “ said Croom before his son’s body had been found. “Because he kept talking about the movie."

Johnathan was last seen at the home of a friend he had been visiting in Seattle, Washington. He was due back in Arizona to begin classes at Mesa Community College when he went missing.  

His green Honda CRV was found on a back road in the town of Riddle, Oregon. Inside the car, police found a sweatshirt, a blanket, and a jug of water, leading some to believe he may have been preparing to enter the wilderness. According to Johnathan’s father, his son’s camping experience was extremely limited.

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