Local News

Morrisville Teen Found Dead In Tennessee Had Online Relationship With College Student

Posted August 28, 2003 3:00 a.m. EDT

— Police in Tennessee are still awaiting a toxicology report as they search for the cause of a North Carolina teen's death.

Jenna Irwin, a University of Tennessee senior, says the four-year Internet relationship she had with 17-year-old Christopher Brandon Whitehurst, of Morrisville, was a friendship.

Irwin told

The Knoxville News Sentinel

that Whitehurst did not confide he was a juvenile until last year.

Irwin said Whitehurst became clingy and said he did not have any friends. She encouraged him to get out more.

On Aug. 16, the day before she moved back onto campus for the year, Irwin blocked Whitehurst's Internet messages.

Carla Whitehurst says she last saw her son alive about 10 p.m. that day. She says he would still be alive if Irwin had not led him on.

Police say the boy went to Irwin's home in White Pine, but no one was home.

The boy's body was found Sunday in the trunk of his car at a Wal-Mart, his head resting on his shirt, which he had taken off and rolled up for a pillow.

There were no signs of injury to his body.