One Month After Kayden Tapia’s Death, Mom Seeks Answers

(Jackson, Wyo.) - Yesterday, July 14, marked one month since local 16-year-old Kayden Tapia was found dead near Emily's Pond. On the morning of June 14 at 9:29 a.m., the Teton County Sheriff's Office Communications Center received a 911 call reporting a human body found in a wooded area along the Snake River off of Highway 22. After CPR, Tapia was pronounced dead on the scene. On June 16, Teton County Coroner Brent Blue announced the cause of death was Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a genetic heart condition that young athletes suffer. Since officials have closed the case. "The case is closed as there was no evidence of foul play, nothing of interest was found after," said Lieutenant Slade Ross in an email to Buckrail today. Since June 14, his mother Stephanie Hurst continues to ask questions about the circumstances surrounding his death. She has been in regular contact with the Teton County Sheriff's Office, the Teton County Coroner and the friends of her son to try to find out exactly what happened the morning of his death. Hurst believes there's information out there hasn't been fully explored “Nothing Makes Sense,” she said in an interview with Buckrail. During the June 16 press conference, the Teton County Sheriff's Office stated that detectives know that Tapia left the Star Valley area at approximately 7:35 a.m. on the day of his death and were working to identify what events took place up until his discovery at approximately 9:29 a.m., when the original 911 call was received. The Sheriff's Office stated that, following the autopsy report, they were working to corroborate the statements of the four juveniles seen leaving the scene. "The juveniles have stated that they were not with, nor did they see, Tapia the morning of his death though they intended on meeting with him and were seen leaving the area in which Tapia was discovered," stated a Teton County Sheriff's Office news release issued on June 16. Regardless of the closure of the case by local law enforcement, Hurst continues to search for information about the morning her son died. “It doesn’t sit right with anybody the way it just fizzled out,” Hurst added. *Feature Photo: Flowers and hockey sticks are laid on the site near the Snake River where Kayden Tapia's body was found on June 14, 2016.* #buckrail #news