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Investigation begins into cadet's death at Tarheel Challenge Youth Academy

Posted February 5, 2020 10:20 p.m. EST

Handcuffs on prison bars

— A cadet enrolled at the Tarheel Challenge Youth Academy died overnight at the youth academy facility, officials reported on Wednesday.

The cause of death is under investigation by the Stanly County Sheriff’s Department. The deceased is a minor, prohibiting release of personal information. Officials said the academy staff and the North Carolina National Guard are cooperating with law enforcement investigation. No other information about this incident is known at this time.

"We are deeply saddened by the news of the death of a Tarheel Challenge Cadet," said Maj. Gen. Todd Hunt, adjutant general of the North Carolina National Guard, in a press release. "We extend our deepest sympathy to the family, friends, and fellow Cadets as we hold them firmly in our hearts and prayers during this difficult time."

The Tarheel Challenge Youth program, sponsored by the North Carolina National Guard, has two academies in Salemburg and New London. North Carolina teenagers ages 16-18 are eligible to enroll. There are currently 119 cadets in the current New London class.

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