Family of South Tahoe boy killed in storm raises questions

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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — The family of a 14-year-old boy who was found dead after he was reported missing last week at Lake Tahoe is criticizing police for failing to act quicker.

Dejon "De-De" Smith was a freshman at South Tahoe High School. South Lake Tahoe police believe he was fatally struck by a 50-foot-tall tree that fell during last week's storm, but the official cause of death is pending an autopsy and his family is questioning what really happened.

His father, Deshawn Smith, found the body Saturday curled up under a downed tree about a half mile from where he last was seen.

He told the Reno Gazette-Journal ( they reported him missing Thursday night but police didn't start searching until 6 p.m. Friday.

Police Lt. David Stevenson says all signs indicate the death was a horrible accident.


Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal,

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