11-Year-Old Whitley Boy Dies After Inhaling Chemical Substance

Death is never an easy subject, mixed among the reading, writing, and arithmetic at an elementary school.

“The last two days have been sad,” says Whitley Schools Psychologist Ralph Johnson.

Whitley North Elementary is home to 400 students and many of them knew 11-year-old Adam Napier who died Sunday. The coroner says the 5th grader died of asphyxiation, which means he came into contact with some kind of unknown chemical.

Grief counselors worked both Monday and Tuesday and saw students react in different ways.

Funeral services are set for Thursday and family members say they're having a hard time coming up with the money. They say they need $2,000 by Wednesday morning and because of that, the funeral home is accepting donations to help the family out.

Children at Adam's school are helping in other ways.

“Different students have wanted to make cards and write letters to their friend and his family,” says Principal Larry Brown.


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  • by Ashley Location: Georgia on Nov 5, 2007 at 09:55 AM
    Hi my name is Ashley and I am Adam Napier's sister!! I want to thank everyone who has helped me and my Family out!! This means so much to us!! He was very young!! To the parents please watch your kids very carefully around any kind of chemicals!! but thank you to the comunity!!
  • by Jim Location: KY on Oct 26, 2007 at 05:00 AM
    It makes me sick that on top of this terrible tragedy that the family is having to deal with the financial "demand" of the funeral home. This is a long-term problem I have with the entire industry- funeral homes, florists, etc. If you look at what they do, while you're not overcome with emotion over the death of a loved one, it seems that they really stick it to people when they are at their most vunerable. It seems to me that they use emotion to really force people into spending as much money as possible. "You loved your _____ don't you? Then you need the top of the line casket..." and so on. I'm in my mid-30's, so I don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon. But when I go, I've told my wife I want a simple pine box with brass hinges, one small arrangement of flowers and everyone else can make a donation to a charity in my memory, instead of lining the pockets of these people. We all need their services, but it seems to most of them all they care about it getting your $$$.
  • by D Location: CORBIN on Oct 26, 2007 at 02:56 AM
    TELL THE FUNERAL HOME TO TAKE THE 2000 AND SHOVE IT. FIND ANOTHER ONE ANYONE THAT MAKES IT EVEN MORE PAINFUL FOR THIS FAMILY HAS ONE THING ON THEIR MIND MONEY THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE GREIVING FAMILY. FIND ANOTHER FUNERAL THERE IS NO LAW THAT SAYS YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE A SPECIFIC ONE. ALSO LET US ALL KNOW THE NAME OF THE FUNERAL HOME SO IN THE FUTURE WE WILL BE SURE NOT TO SELECT MONEY HUNGRY PEOPLE TO SUPPORT US IN A TIME LIKE THIS.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 25, 2007 at 06:00 AM
    I am a relative and yes the money was demanded.
  • by a family member Location: out of state on Oct 24, 2007 at 04:28 PM
    I would like to express my point of view as a very close family member regarding this funeral home. It is sad after we have burried 6 family members that this much money would be demanded. It isn't the fact of the funeral cost, it is the principal of the tragedy that occured. Any other funeral home in Corbin and Williamsburg would of excepted the circumstances and asked for no money period up front. I am so grateful to the Whitley County School District staff for raising this money so quickly. They are a blessing to the Napier family. It isn't Oniels that we should be so grateful to, it is Whitely North Elem for working so hard who loved Adam that understood the familys situation. Yes I know the circumstances so that is why that I felt it necessary to make the judgement. Thank you. Family member very close of Adam
  • by Sherry Location: Whitley County on Oct 24, 2007 at 03:43 PM
    I have read all the news stories and seen the newscasts on all 3 Lexington channels and the Hazard channel and nowhere have I seen where anybody, including the family, has said that the funeral home "demanded" $2000 so I guess you choice of words was wrong.
  • by Tammy Location: Whitley County on Oct 24, 2007 at 01:05 PM
    I just called the funeral home. The family has met the $2000 demand (how's that for a choice of words). Of course, with today's burial costs that is probably only about 1/3 of the total. Anyone wishing to donate can do what the people that I work with are doing and just drop the money by the funeral home.
  • by Teresa Location: Ky on Oct 24, 2007 at 11:31 AM
    Lots of times there are extenuating circumstances that make a funeral home request money up front, whether it is for a child or adult. Many funeral homes (even in Whitley County) require more than $2000. up front all the time! Be sure you know all the details before you make judgements like the ones you have made here.
  • by Carol Location: KY on Oct 23, 2007 at 06:29 PM
    Surely this funeral home doesn't require that kind of money up front to bury a child!? If so, I'll remember to always advise my family and friends to stay away from there. I know other some of the other funeral homes in Whitley County wouldn't put that kind of burden upon a grieving family.
  • by Anonymous Location: Kentucky on Oct 23, 2007 at 06:00 PM
    Please know your family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers.

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