'Into the Wild,' a book by Jon Krakauer about a young man who died in the Alaska wilderness, may have inspired a young man who headed into the Oregon wilds after sending suicidal text messages.
Francois Duhamel / Paramount Vantage / AP
An Arizona teenager who vanished into the Oregon woods may have been inspired by "Into the Wild," a book by Jon Krakauer based on the true story of a young man who headed solo into the Alaskan wilderness and ultimately died there, his father said Sunday.
The teen's body was found Tuesday, on a heavily-wooded hillside just 1,000 yards from the vehicle he abandoned near Riddle, Ore.
Johnathan Croom had talked with his parents about "Into the Wild" and told a friend he wanted to run away.
Croom also talked to his parents about Christopher McCandless, whose journey to Alaska was documented in the book. McCandless gave up his worldly goods to live in the Alaska wilderness, only to die there.
Douglas County sheriff's spokesman Dwes Hutson said crews searching the area for days after Croom's green SUV was found were looking for a live person. They called his name and made lots of noise, as they had since last week, but heard nothing back.
Then, Monday night, they found text messages indicating that the college student planned to kill himself. The discovery of the texts changed the nature of the search, he said.