Gay teen Lance Lundsten's death ruled a suicide
When Lance Lundsten, a gay high schooler from Miltona, died in January of this year, his death was initially reported as a suicide. The news rocketed around the internet -- another gay teen who took his life after reported bullying at the hands of other kids.
But Lundsten's famlily told the Alexandria Echo Press that he had died from a congenital heart condition. And though the Douglas County Medical Examiner denied making this statement to Lundsten's family, the Echo Press stuck with the story.
Today, word came back from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which performed a full toxicology screen on Lundsten. The finding? Lundsten died after ingesting a mixture of drugs. It was a suicide after all.
The finding is a vindication of sorts for KSAX, the local ABC News affiliate that first reported Lundsten's death as a suicide and followed up with interviews of current and former students who described a school atmosphere that tolerated bullying.
KSAX was criticized by some in the community, including Echo Press editor Al Edenloff, for portraying Alexandria in a negative light.
The Echo Press' coverage describing Lundsten's death as caused by an enlarged heart is presumably still available behind its pay-wall. So far the paper hasn't run a correction or any acknowledgment that his death was a suicide.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.