The body of first year student from Niitsu High School was found lying on the ground, face up, at a park in Akiha, Niigata at around 9:45am on Sunday. The body was found by an Akiha police officer.
According to Akiha police and Niitsu High School officials, the student participated in practices that were held at the school in the afternoon and later went out for a run around the school. Police were notified when his whereabouts could not be established on Sunday morning.
Police and high school teammates searched the area and found his body lying on the ground. There were no external injuries.
Officials are currently looking into heatstroke or sudden illness as a possible cause.
Source: Sponichi 7/29/2012
UPDATE 7/30 @ 10:50pm
Some additional information has been released:
- The body was found eight kilometers into a ten kilometer or so track.
- During practices on July 28, a teacher and a team manager confirmed the student was drinking fluids at around the half-way point of a running course. They also told the student not to push too hard and that walking was ok. At that point, the student looked fine.
- An autopsy points to heatstroke as the most likely of causes.
- Parents did not suspect anything on the evening of July 28 because they thought their son was off celebrating his birthday (July 29) with friends.
- Since the accidental death, the Niigata Board of Education has informed caregivers to confirm the whereabouts and well-being of their children (elementary school, junior high school, high school) before and after extracurricular activities.
Source: Sponichi 7/30/2012