Trails Carolina Death Troubling Investigation and Call for Accountability

trails carolina death

Trails Carolina’s “Investigation” of child abuse in wilderness therapy has raised several questions about transparency and supervision in this field. Parents enrol their kids in wilderness therapy programs if they show signs of maladaptive behaviour.

The programs are held outdoors while providing therapy and challenging experiences. The participants are engaged on emotional, cognitive, and behavioural levels. The therapeutic agencies ensure the clients feel secure, but Trails Carolina abuses them physically and mentally.

It is recommended to read the reviews and research the organizations before submitting their children to these therapeutic institutions what we have learned concerning the Trails Carolina Death “investigation” so far.

Trails Carolina Death: The Complete Investigation

The Disappearance of Alec Sanford Lansing

Alec Sanford Lansing, 17, last seen on November 10, walked away from a group camping trip organized by Trails Carolina, a wilderness rehabilitation centre in Lake Toxaway. The search for him lasted nearly two weeks.

Trails Carolina and Its Programs

Trails Carolina specializes in wilderness therapy programs for at-risk teens and those dealing with mental health or addiction issues, offering tailored programs for girls and boys aged 10-17.

The Search Operation

Despite a comprehensive search effort involving multiple organizations, Lansing’s remains were discovered far from where he initially separated from the group. A helicopter was deployed for an aerial search, but a dense canopy hindered their efforts.

The Tragic Autopsy Results

Pathologist William Selby conducted an autopsy on Lansing’s body, revealing hypothermia as the likely cause of death. A significant factor was the discovery of a fractured hip, suggesting he became immobile.

The Impact of Cold Weather

The National Weather Service reported low temperatures of 40, 47, and 45 degrees on November 10, 11, and 12, conditions that can cause hypothermia. Lansing’s situation likely worsened due to being in the water, as the human body cools 25 times faster in water than in the open air.

Trails Carolina’s Response

Graham Shannonhouse, Executive Director of Trails Carolina, expressed deep sadness over the tragic outcome and extended condolences to Lansing’s family and friends. The organization appreciated the efforts of local agencies and its employees during the search.

Previous Incidents at Trails Carolina

In less than two months, this marked the second incident involving students leaving Trails Carolina without permission. In September, two 15 and 16-year-olds fled the camp, prompting an extensive search in Transylvania County.

Concerns and Collaborative Efforts

Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney raised concerns, especially regarding the September incident involving criminal activities. He emphasized the importance of working with the camp’s owners and directors to ensure safe operations.

Ensuring Community Safety

While Mahoney didn’t consider Trails Carolina and its students an everyday risk to the community, he stressed the potential for a single incident to lead to hazardous situations, highlighting the need for vigilance.

Awaiting Camp’s Response

The Transylvania Times sought comments from Trails Carolina for their perspective on the situation, but as of the article’s press time, the camp’s officials had yet to respond.

trails carolina's death
trails carolina’s death

A Controversial Journey of Transformation and Turmoil

There are mixed opinions from patients about Carolina Trails. Specific clients experienced life-changing experiences, while others have shared stories of physical and emotional assault throughout their treatment. The poor treatment of staff members led officials and investigators from independent sources to consider this program.

The investigation showed that there must be greater transparency, accountability, and rules in the admission of teenagers to such organizations. Their parents complained about how management set off her after she sought assistance. Her family was stranded in the wild and was smothered to death due to their carelessness.

Former participants in this program have also stated that the program utilized unregulated practices like physical restraints and isolation rooms to discipline teenagers. DHHS (United States Department of Health and Human Services) has said that Carolina Trails has violated isolation and seclusion room rules.

Another allegation concerns an unsolved murder of a 17-year-old girl in Lansing. The case was brought up against the therapeutic program, and the girl died in a stream. This is why this Trails Carolina Death “investigation” was renewed. The sheriff in charge of this case told DHHS that if staff had been able to help earlier, she may have survived today.

Therapy has refuted any accusations and said the charges have no substance. However, these allegations should be addressed only partially, and parents must verify the authenticity and supervision of their children under these programs. There is nothing more crucial than the well-being of their children.

A Polarizing Journey to Transformation and Challenge

Many clients who participated in therapy programs have revealed that the Carolina Trails experience was intense. Many of them preferred this type of training in cognitive and behavioural skills. In contrast, others considered it abusive due to the use of harsh techniques such as decision-making and isolation rooms.

The therapeutic program consists of the following treatments:

  • Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical therapy for behavior
  • Experience-based activities (hiking and backpacking )
  • Innovative Coping Strategies (improved communications with relatives)

Some critics have also described the program as highly demanding and inappropriate for teens. It needs adequate supervision, unrealistic expectations of participants and accountability, and inadequate research about wilderness training.

Whistleblower Exposes Troubling Secrets

Linda is a former company employee and was instrumental considerably in this Trails Carolina Death “investigation” by declaring that she worked for two years. After joining the institute as a professional with experience from 2015 onwards, she cared for teens precisely as she had for the past 20 years.

An anonymous witness says she felt compelled to sprint until she was exhausted. Another victim also said she was required to hike despite not feeling well. Teenagers who were injured or injured during the exercise were not adequately treated.

They also noted that the management and staff team of the firm often were heavily influenced by drugs and alcohol throughout their working hours and attempted to keep unhygienic relationships with teens. A few of them reported these incidents to the authorities. However, nothing was done.

Undercover Unveiling: Inside the Troubled World

Most of the accounts provided by the victim claim that the management and staff team are responsible for their terrible experience at camps in the open. The investigation also examines how the staff failed to meet the teens’ demands and how they manipulated them.

Caretakers swore at the participants, mocked them and abused them. In addition, the new employees were not adequately trained and were left alone. The consequences were much more severe for failing to follow the training, such as cutting off every contact with their parents.

From now on, Carolina Trails is perceived as a shambles for experts in suicide prevention as well as suicide de-escalation since their training is minuscule, while their training is the highest level.

Conclusion for Trails Carolina Death

The allegations about the Trails Carolina Death “investigation” carried out by NCDHHS remain in place, and there’s no response from NCDHHS. But, new victims are coming forward to describe their lives as a terrifying experience when they undergo outdoor training. Although unconfirmed, we must not ignore the shocking accounts.

Additionally, the number of indictments continues to grow daily, and the disparity in their treatment isn’t a matter of debate. Staff and participants alike are all on the verge of divulging the truth. Parents have also begun disliking these therapy programs. Rebuilding trust in the program requires responsibility and more transparency.

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