Local News

Raleigh 17-year-old found in creek after crash died from hypothermia

Posted October 9

— According to an autopsy report released Monday, 17-year-old Lauren Jenkins, who went missing after she was involved in a car crash, died due to hypothermia after she got wet.

Jenkins was found dead two days after she was involved in a car crash on March 17 at the intersection of Raleigh's Leesville and O'Neal roads. Witnesses reported seeing Jenkins leave the scene of the crash on foot.

Nearly 37 hours later and a half mile away, a man found Jenkins, dead, near a creek in a heavily wooded area behind a home on West Lake Court. She was less than a mile from home.

According to the report, Jenkins was found face up with her arms flexed in a small creek, which was partially filled with water. She was wearing a sleeveless shirt, though a long-sleeved shirt was found 10 to 15 feet from her body.

The autopsy showed that she had cuts to her face, torso and extremities but no physical injury contributed to her death.

She also had alcohol and a trace amount of methamphetamine in her system.

Jenkins was a student at Leesville Road High School.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner classified Jenkins’ death as an accident.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Henry Cooper Oct 10, 4:17 p.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Not sure about all news sites but of the local stations WRAL is the only one that has comment boxes. I know ABC11.com does not.

    Get some comment boxes on those sights and I am sure there would be a similar reaction.

  • Catherine West Oct 10, 1:53 p.m.
    user avatar

    Why is everyone attacking WRAL for reporting the same news that other news outlets are reporting? At least their headline is more sensitive. One news channel's headline reads 'Meth detected in her system ".

  • Wayne Hill Oct 10, 1:06 p.m.
    user avatar

    Is the word compassion in your vocabulary WRAL? I watch the comedy of the WRAL commercials touting how: "we are in this together in the community, and WRAL is our spirit guide." Seriously?! You are clueless to the meaning of compassion, civility and decorum.

  • Henry Cooper Oct 10, 11:07 a.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I agree, kinda classless.

    17 hours as the headline? Is someone on vacation?

  • Catherine Edwards Oct 10, 8:17 a.m.
    user avatar

    It's a cautionary tale to other teens out there. I know I've talked about it to my son.
    Prayers to the family that has lost so much.

  • Anita Gibson Oct 10, 12:26 a.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Because the post mortem results are inaccurate. Depending on temperatures fermentation can occur. In a person that hasn't been drinking it can cause a false positive, so with a person who is deceased it could show higher than it actually was.

  • Bruce Martin Oct 9, 9:39 p.m.
    user avatar

    This shouldn't have even been on the news at all. I'm sure the parents are still having it rough as it is. Way to throw it there faces.

  • Lauren Little Oct 9, 9:06 p.m.
    user avatar

    How sad. Prayers for her family.

  • William Hayes Oct 9, 8:07 p.m.
    user avatar

    Does this have to be front page news?

  • nraleighmom Oct 9, 7:35 p.m.

    This story is so sad, knowing this young girl died this way. Prayers for her loved ones.