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Colo. Officials Monitor Probe of Utah Teen's Death

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) -- State officials are monitoring an investigation into the death of a Utah teen who was enrolled in a wilderness program for at-risk children.

The Mesa County coroner said Caleb Jensen died from natural causes Wednesday.

He died in a remote area outside of Montrose during an outing with Alternative Youth Adventures, program officials said. The boy had been ordered by the Utah Division of Juvenile Services to enroll in the two-month program.

"There was nothing out of the ordinary. It's just a very tragic incident," said Bill Palatucci, senior vice president at Community Education Centers Inc., based in Roseland, N.J., which operates Alternative Youth Adventures.

The state has a contract with Alternative Youth Adventures, and 26 Colorado teens are enrolled, Colorado Department of Human Services spokeswoman Liz McDonough said.

"We have great concern for the kids in the program, and we're monitoring the investigation," McDonough said.

Few details of what happened before Jensen's death have been released.

Montrose County Sheriff Rick Dunlap said his deputies got a call about counselors performing CPR on a boy. Mesa County sheriff's deputies also responded.

Three counselors and six youths were at an Alternative Youth Adventures camp, about two miles from the closest road.

Alternative Youth Adventures has worked in Montrose since 2000. It focuses on self-esteem and team-building projects for Colorado and Utah kids, ages 12 to 18, Palatucci said.

Palatucci said the program has not had any other deaths.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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