Local News

Questions Linger About Death Of High Point Teen

Posted January 4, 2003 4:00 a.m. EST

— Investigators are still looking for answers about the death of a 13-year-old boy whose body was found nine weeks ago after apparently falling to his death.

Police have called the death an accident. But exactly how Christopher Dixon died remains unclear. The N.C. Medical Examiner's Office says it has not completed the autopsy.

The office also has not provided police with an estimated time or date of death, said Lt. Jim Tate, High Point police spokesman.

Police are also evaluating their own handling of the case.

Dixon was reported missing Oct. 24 after returning home from Greensboro's Shining Light Baptist Academy. His mother asked him to return empty garbage cans from the curb to the house.

The garbage cans were later found in place, but there was no sign of Christopher. His backpack was found in the driveway.

His body was found near an unfinished portion of U.S. 311 Bypass on Nov. 2 by volunteer searchers. His body was not visible from the road.

Police had searched the same area three times looking for Dixon. But Tate said he didn't know if officers looked underneath the bridge.

Police say they believe he fell from the bridge or its concrete embankment and died on impact.

Tate said he doubts the body could have been moved there following the police searches.

"All the evidence we have points to an accident," Tate said.

Police are waiting for evidence reports from the State Bureau of Investigation's crime lab. Several items found at the scene were sent to the lab for analysis, but Tate declined to name them.

High Point police Detective Wes Lipe, a lead investigator in the case, said officers involved in the search met last month to evaluate their handling of the search and investigation.

"We went person by person to find out who did what and what resources were used," Lipe said.

Lipe declined to comment further.

The investigation won't be complete until police get a final autopsy report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Mary Loomis, an administrator with the N.C. Medical Examiner's Office, said the report may not be complete for another month.

Ron Key, a Guilford County medical examiner, said it isn't unusual for reports to take that long.

"We look at cases as closely as possible," Key said. "Autopsies clear up any suspicion."