Performer, 10, accidentally hangs self

Jan. 13, 2012 at 7:56 PM
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BELLINGHAM, Wash., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- A 10-year-old juggling "circus boy" entertaining crowds at the Bellingham, Wash., farmers market died in an apparent accidental hanging, authorities say.

Caleb Kors performed weekly next to his mother's stall at the Bellingham farmers market where he would perform magic tricks and juggle with, what friends said was an innate sense of his own body and personality, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"He learned to juggle really fast. He could juggle four balls, which is a big deal for a kid of 10. Four is a whole different level of mental acuity and knowing what to do," said Timothy Doesburg who ran a youth circus workshop.

Kors died suddenly Tuesday in what Whatcom County sheriff's officials said was an accidental hanging -- although the circumstances remain unclear.

"As far as we know, the young man died in what appears to be an accidental hanging. How he got there, we're not actually sure. There did not appear to be anything suspicious or nefarious," Chief Criminal Deputy Doug Chadwick said.

Early reports indicated he may have died trying to perform a circus trick but later findings show it is more likely he died while trying to collect material for a costume he was constructing, the Times reported.

"Caleb was the youngest steam punk I ever met. He absolutely adored dressing up," said Nikki Kilpatrick, a longtime friend of the family whose son was best friends with Caleb. "That kid was wearing costumes from the time he could pull clothes on. You'd see him in the store, and he'd be wearing pajamas with a cape and flippers and goggles."

It was unclear who found Caleb. Medical personnel took him from his Sudden Valley home to a Bellingham hospital Monday. He was subsequently airlifted to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, where he died.

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