10-Year-Old Boy’s Attempt To Earn Knot-Tying Merit Badge Takes A Sad Turn

| by Lisa Fogarty

A 10-year-old Boy Scout from Alabama who was trying to earn a merit badge was found dead by his parents in his bedroom Friday night.

AJ Underwood was reportedly practicing to receive a badge for knot tying when he accidentally hanged himself from the top bunk of his bed, reports the New York Daily News. Police are calling this an accidental death and do not believe there is anything else behind this tragedy.

“There’s absolutely nothing to indicate he did this on purpose,” said Oneonta Police Chief James Chapman. “He had been in good spirits, he was making good grades.”

AJ was one of four children in the Underwood family. While preparing to attend a birthday party, his mother checked on her son in his bedroom and reportedly found him hanging from the same rope he had been given by the Boy Scout organization.

The boy’s family tried to resuscitate him, and neighbors reportedly called 911, but AJ was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Following his death, Ross Norris, the mayor of Oneonta, told WVTM: “To have something like that occur in your neighborhood, you respond to the call of the mother and you go down and try to assist. It’s heartbreaking to the whole community.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to pay for AJ’s funeral expenses. On the site, the child is described as “the most amazing young man and will be missed by so many.” The boy’s family thanked the small town and surrounding communities for their support. In one day, more than half of the family’s $20,000 goal has been reached.

Sources: New York Daily News, WVTM

Photo Credit: GoFundMe