Phoenix Police are investigating after a 12-year-old boy died while hiking along a mountain reserve with his mother's boyfriend.
The incident occurred on July 22. Cody Flom was on a hiking trip with his mother’s new boyfriend when he became ill some time between 3 and 5 p.m., KPHO reported.
The boyfriend, whose name has not been released, tried carrying Cody down the trail. He eventually left the boy to get help, according to reports.
The man tried using his cellphone, but he could not get a signal. Firefighters later arrived at the scene, and Cody was airlifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. He died later that night.
Police are investigating the incident, although it is believed the death was heat related. The man and Cody were carrying at least 2 liters of water throughout the hike, the New York Daily News reported.
Cody’s father told KPHO he was not aware his son was going on a hiking trip that day. He said he would not have allowed him to go on the trip during the heat of the day, had he known. The temperature reached about 110 degrees that day.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water intake must increase during times of extreme heat.
“During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour,” the CDC advises. “The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly.”
“Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs,” the CDC adds. “Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly.”
Cody’s father started a GoFundMe account. In the page’s description, he wrote:
"Our son, Cody, tragically passed away at 12 years old on Friday, July 22nd. He has touched the hearts of so many people. He was such a good boy, he just wanted to make everyone laugh, and he loved his computer, kindle and video games. He was a Boy Scout, going into 7th grade this year, and absolutely loved his family and friends. We are asking for your love and support through this horrible, long journey."
The page had raised more than $12,000 in two days.