UNION SPRINGS, AL (WSFA) - The investigation into the circumstances surrounding a Bullock County teenager's death has taken a turn.
While local and state investigators continue their silence, WSFA 12 News has confirmed through two sources who did not want to be identified that 13-year-old Ka'shaad Hurts died by suicide brought on by bullying. WSFA 12 News has also learned through those sources, the youngster was found with his belt around his neck near South Highlands Middle School.
Sandra Owens says the immediate family is still too distraught to even speak publicly about the teenager's death. The manner in how Hurts died is incomprehensible.
"It just doesn't make sense considering the type of person he was," said Owens, a distant cousin of Hurts.
At South Highlands Middle School classmates and teachers continue to remember Hurts. The school flags remained at half-staff and black bows adorn the front doors. The 13-year-old was said to be a gifted orator at such a young age.
Bullock County public schools superintendent Dr. Keith Stewart signed a deal this week to bring in a Georgia-based anti-bullying group to speak to all 1,500 public school children. It's KARMA which stands for Kids Against Ridicule, Meanness and Aggression. Dr. Stewart made this move even though he says there had been no reports of Hurts being bullied at school.
So far, it appears to be a case of Ka'shaad Hurts being severely picked on somewhere out in the community. It's not clear whether investigators plan to charge any of the alleged bullies.
"Bullying is on-going. We have to constantly be prepared to teach our faculty members how to detect when something like this happens," said Dr. Stewart.
Dr. Stewart says the date hasn't been set yet for KARMA leaders to speak to all three county public schools but it will be sometime this spring.
"We're asking God to give us strength and get through Saturday," said Owens.
Hurts' funeral is Saturday afternoon at 1 at Bullock County High School.
Ka'shaad Hurts died just a few weeks before his 14th birthday which would have been on March 10th.