Springdale Child’s Death Ruled ‘Drowning Accident’

Posted on: 2:21 pm, April 3, 2012, by , updated on: 06:23pm, April 4, 2012

The Arkansas State Police received a preliminary report this week from the state crime lab indicating the cause of 4-year-old Caleb Linn’s death was a “drowning accident,” Bill Sadler, State Police spokesman, said Wednesday.

The full autopsy report probably will be completed in 30 to 45 days, Sadler said. The preliminary report has not been forwarded to the prosecuting attorney representing the county where the death occurred, he said.

Prosecuting Attorney Don McSpadden said Wednesday he still has not seen anything to indicate wrongdoing occurred in the Springdale boy’s death.

McSpadden represents five counties in north central Arkansas, including Fulton County.

McSpadden will determine if any charges will be filed in Linn’s death. Sadler said his office does not make recommendations.

Sadler said the child’s body has been released from the state crime lab in Little Rock.

On March 29, McSpadden told 5NEWS that he had not “seen anything at this point that rises to the level of a criminal act.”

Linn’s grandfather Phillip Dawson said no memorial or funeral services have been set.

Linn would have been 5 years old on Tuesday.

A memorial account has been created to help with burial costs. Donations can be made at Simmons Bank in Springdale to the “Phillip and Ginette Dawson Memorial Fund for Caleb Linn,” family members said.

Linn went missing on March 24 at the Kia Kima Boy scout reservation. He was there with a group of children and family working on a clean-up project at a bridge site on river, about a half-mile from the main camping area on the 900-acre property.

Police said five children left the bridge that morning to return to camp, and Linn asked permission to catch-up to the group around 11:30 a.m. He was reported missing nearly two hours later.

Four days later, search and rescue volunteers in a canoe found the boy’s body on a sand bar in the river.

More than 100 volunteers, dive teams, sheriff’s officials and emergency responders from across the state helped with the search.