Police probe death of boy found hanging from rope

June 04, 1996|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,SUN STAFF

Howard County police are investigating the death of a 13-year-old Mount Airy boy found hanging Saturday morning behind his home from a horizontal rope used for play.

Ryan Burdette, a seventh-grader at Glenwood Middle School, was pronounced dead at 2: 06 a.m. at Frederick Memorial Hospital Saturday, said Sgt. Dave Richards, a Howard police spokesman.

An autopsy report was pending yesterday, according to the state medical examiner's office.

Police want to see the report because it could help determine the cause of death. They said there appeared to be no sign of foul play.

Richards said detectives plan to speak with the youth's family. The youth's funeral was yesterday.

He was found hanging from a "zip line," a horizontally stretched rope or cord from which a handle mechanism usually hangs. A person can grasp the handle and slide from one end of the rope to the other.

The Burdettes have had a zip line stretched between two trees in the back yard of their house in the 1800 block of Long Corner Road for several years, police said.

A family friend found the Burdette youth hanging from the rope about 1 a.m. Saturday, Richards said. The rope was around the youth's neck, his feet were touching the ground, and he was not conscious.

Police and rescue officials were called to the scene and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Richards said.

Pub Date: 6/04/96

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