According to investigators, Christopher Whitehurst may have died by his own hands.
It was in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Athens, Tenn., where police found the body of the 17-year old Whitehurst, a student at Green Hope High School in Morrisville.
Police said Whitehurst traveled to Chattanooga to meet a female student from the University of Tennessee he had been having an online relationship with for four years. They said she apparently rejected him, and that is when Whitehurst wound up at the Athens Wal-Mart.
According to Athens police, Whitehurst apparently climbed in the trunk on his own. Inside, detectives found a can of gas and rope that Whitehurst may have used to keep the trunk closed.
Whitehurst was reported missing earlier in August.
Police said surveillance tapes showed Whitehurst behaving erratically at Wal-Mart. The tapes showed Whitehurst driving around the parking lot and backing into a retaining wall at Wal-Mart several times.
Kevin Hill, the principal at Green Hope, said he was stunned to hear the news about Whitehurst.
Anytime you lose a member of the student family, it's tough," Hill said. "We look at each child as being important and an important member of the family. So it is a loss."
Toxicology results are expected to be released Wednesday.
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