Autopsy expected on 7-year-old Johnstown boy


TOWN OF JOHNSTOWN — The autopsy for a 7-year-old Johnstown boy was anticipated to be conducted Thursday, according to Fulton County Coroner Margaret Luck. 

As of 6 p.m., Luck had not returned a request for comment. 

State police have been investigating the death of Hunter Degroat after he was found unresponsive in his Johnstown home Tuesday afternoon and later pronounced dead at Nathan Littauer Hospital. 

Troop G Acting Public Information Officer Stephanie O’Neil on Wednesday said that a family member called 911.

Police have provided few details on the case though, including the street it happened, noting it is still under investigation.

O’Neil said in a phone call around 5 p.m. Thursday that the department had not received confirmation that the autopsy was done. She also said the department had not provided the street in which the incident occurred because it did not want to impede the investigation.

When reached for comment regarding previous interactions with Hunter Degroat and his family, Fulton County Department of Social Services Commissioner Anne Solar said they do not typically release any information regarding people they may or may not deal with through the department.

On Wednesday, a statement from HFM BOCES Superintendent David Ziskin read in part: 

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Hunter Degroat. Hunter was a student in one of our programs until this past February. Our programs are small and close-knit. During this very difficult time, we will make every effort to support our students and staff who knew Hunter.” 

However, the district has declined to comment further. 

“We won’t be able to provide any further comment or information,” said spokesperson Betsy DeMars. 

The Greater Johnstown School District, in which the boy resided, declined to comment. 

“Because this is an ongoing police investigation, the district is not able to provide comment at this time,” said spokesperson Trisha Miller.

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