A missing eighteen-year-old Arizona native has been found dead near his car in southwest Oregon, a sad end to the search for a boy who had apparently set out to find himself.
The body of Johnathan Croom was found near his SUV in a wooded part of southern Oregon, wrote the Associated Press, which added that local authorities are investigating the death as a suicide.
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Originally from Apache Junction, Arizona, Croom had recently suffered the end of a relationship, and was slated to begin at Mesa Community College two days after his car was found in the small town of Riddle.
Last seen visiting some of his friends in Seattle, Washington, Croom appears to have left his small stash of survival gear inside of the car, according to Fox 12 Oregon.
Croom was allegedly "obssessed" with the book "Into the Wild," Jon Krakauer's 1996 look at the life and death of Christopher McCandless — a young American who left home after graduating from university and headed for Alaska, eventually dying alone in the wilderness.
The book was made into a popular movie in 2007, written and directed by Sean Penn, and has inspired a new generation of young people towards dropping off the grid and heading for the woods.
Billie McCandless, the mother of Christopher McCandless, implored Croom to return home on an episode of "Piers Morgan" last week.
"We want to say, young man, please call your parents. No one will ever worry about you, care about you or love you more than your mom and dad," she said, according to CNN.
"He was talking to another friend that it would be great to just leave penniless and just work along the way and get resources like they did in the movie," observed Croom's father of his son's interest, according to MyFoxPhoenix.com.
"As far as we know he left in shorts and a T-shirt and a backpack with some socks in it and he left the car and that's all we know."