|Leslie Methodist Church, Google Images|
Keith L. Norris strangled on a fake noose which was rigged in a plywood booth and intended to scare visitors by making it look as though someone had been hanged. The boy, who had been playing the part of a hanged person, was found on his knees, suspended by his neck from an inch-wide nylon parachute strap tied to resemble a noose.
He would have been 14 on Halloween Day.
"It looks as if he was leaning into the noose and just slowly lost consciousness," said Dr. Brad B. Randall of the state medical examiner's office who performed an autopsy on the boy Friday.
The death was ruled an accidental asphyxiation.
Norris' limp body was discovered about 9:15 p.m. Thursday, shortly after the end of a Halloween carnival sponsored by the Leslie Methodist Church.
Charles C. Matthews said his 13-year-old son Marchie was the first to realize something was wrong with Norris.
"Marchie said he walked by once and the boy looked like he was playing," the father said. "Marchie was going to take out some trash, and when he came back the boy was in the same position, on his knees, so he called somebody to look at him."
G. Floyd Barefoot, who was cleaning up after the festival, was called to look at the boy.
"I tried to revive him. I gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, trying to get air back into him. Tried to get it going, but it weren't there," Barefoot said.