Missing Tahoe teen found dead; believed hit by falling tree in last week’s storm

A teen who went missing in South Lake Tahoe last week and was found dead on Saturday is believed to have been killed by a 50-foot tree knocked down during Thursday’s storm.

South Lake Tahoe police said officers received a call Saturday from a resident who spotted a body in a wooded area behind the 3400 block of Rancho Way. Police arrived and confirmed the body was that of the person reported missing. Officials said an initial investigation suggested that the teen was fatally struck by the falling tree.

The juvenile was last seen late Thursday near Rancho Way. Police officials said officers searched the area Friday to no avail before the juvenile’s body was found Saturday.

South Lake Tahoe Police did not release the name of the teen, but Reno television stations KRNV-TV and KTVN-TV identified the boy as Dejon Smith, 14, of South Lake Tahoe.

Call The Bee’s Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040.