Michelle Lynn Sutton died on day 7 of what was to be a 63-day program. Michelle collapsed and died of dehydration due to exposure to the elements on a dirt road in Arizona.
Back in 1990 there was no regulation of the wilderness therapy industry. No formal education was demanded by the staff members following the teenagers out in the wilderness. No requirements were demanded by the companies running these operations.
As result anyone could start a business like this a live of the fear and hopes by the parents.
A deadly trap which did cost Michelle her life before she had a chance to live it.
They are in place as we are talking year 2011 and still teenagers continue to lose their lives in the wilderness. The question whether wilderness can be a safe place to heal illness remains to be answered.
Victims in 1990s, Fornits Wiki Database
15 year old hiker died of dehydration at Grand Canyon, The Prescott Courier - May 13, 1990
Michelle Sutton Memorial