SAN ANTONIO - Authorities are investigating after a 12-year-old Kerrville boy died at an Ingram camp for disabled youths.
Emergency medical responders were called to Star Ranch on Sunday evening because the boy was unresponsive after he reportedly hit his head on the ground, said Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer.
The boy, Christening "Mikie" Garcia, had been placed in "time out" after refusing to obey staff orders, the sheriff said, "but he evidently got violent and started banging his own head against the concrete, so they had to restrain him."
Hierholzer, who is handling the case as a suspicious death, said Garcia later died at Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital.
Garcia had been placed by the state at the camp five months ago.
Justice of the Peace Bill Ragsdale said preliminary results of an autopsy by the Travis County medical examiner's office did not reveal the cause and manner of the boy's death. Toxicology tests have been ordered.
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The ranch is licensed to serve 32 boys, ages 7 to 17, with learning or physical disabilities who have been removed from their homes by the state for being physically abused, said Dave Vinyard, public relations counsel to Star Ranch.
The ranch was opened 16 years ago by nonprofit Star Programs Inc. It has been investigated five times since Dec. 1, 2003, on reports of abuse and/or neglect, including instances of inappropriate restraints and insufficient supervision, said Patrick Crimmins of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
"Two of those were ruled out, three are pending," Crimmins said. "Any time a child dies, it is very sad and very unfortunate. We will investigate fully."