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Wednesday, Jun. 17, 1998

Boy found covered with fire ants died of head wounds, official says

   A Ricardo boy found covered in fire ants in the bathroom of his home died of head injuries, a Kleberg County official said Tuesday.
   Clayton Ray Durham, 12, was pronounced dead at his house in Ricardo on Saturday by Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Cheque De La Paz.
   The boy's father told De La Paz he suspected that the boy killed himself, De La Paz said.
   An autopsy report showed that the boy died from head trauma and brain injuries, De La Paz said.
   He said the boy's parents told him the boy had been taking a bath. They told De La Paz that the boy left the bathtub, and they found him on the other side of the room, covered with fire ants, De La Paz said.
   The parents didn't say if the boy was dead or alive when they found him, De La Paz said.
   ``They said they rinsed him off and put clothes on him,'' De La Paz said.
   De La Paz said the boy may have been dead for a few hours when he pronounced him dead at 6:03 p.m. Saturday.
   Kleberg County Sheriff Tony Gonzalez could not be reached Tuesday.
   No charges have been filed, said Mark Skurka, chief prosecutor for the Nueces County District Attorney's office, which oversees Kleberg County.
   ``We are awaiting the results of the sheriff's department investigation,'' Skurka said.

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