Teen found dead in Beech Creek identified

mcarroll@centredaily.comJanuary 17, 2014 

The body found Thursday in a creek near the Centre County line has been identified as a 17-year-old boy reported missing by his father on Dec. 9.

Authorities identified the body as Alex Tylor Witherite, of Beech Creek. State police in Lamar are investigating, but had released no details by Friday evening about how or when the boy might have ended up in the cold waters of Beech Creek.

The boy’s father, Carl Witherite, told the Centre Daily Times in late December that his son left their home sometime overnight Dec. 8 into Dec. 9 and had not been seen since. Carl Witherite declined comment when reached Friday afternoon.

Police at the time confirmed Alex Witherite had been listed as a missing person and that there was an open investigation.

A pedestrian discovered the body Thursday and contacted authorities.

Clinton County Coroner Zach Hanna pronounced Witherite dead at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

Hanna said the cause and manner of death are pending toxicology results and further investigation. An autopsy was done Friday at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

When contacted Friday, Hanna said he could not comment further because of the ongoing investigation.

A state police dispatcher said the trooper handling the case left for the day and no one else could comment. Police did not provide new information Friday.

Witherite lived with his father in Beech Creek and attended Sugar Valley Charter School. He previously lived in Spring Mills.

Carl Witherite said he discovered that his son was missing Dec. 9 when he went to the boy’s room to wake him for school. The boy didn’t respond, and that’s when the father noticed the son was gone.

His son took a bag of clothes and a computer provided by his school, Witherite said.

The father contacted police and school officials. He said authorities seemed confident the boy would come back.

But Carl Witherite said he feared the worst.

“In the meantime, we’re sitting here, thinking, is he laying in the creek somewhere?” Witherite said at the time.

Witherite said he and his son enjoyed watching movies and riding four-wheelers together.

“I just want to see him,” the father said in December.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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