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11-year-old Rock Hill boy found dead in Boone hotel

By Elisabeth Arriero and Caroline McMillan
cmcmillan@charlotteobserver.com

Boone Police have identified Jeffrey Lee Williams, 11, of Rock Hill as the boy who died in a Best Western in Boone over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the status of his mother, Jeannie Williams, 49, was not immediately known, although she was in critical condition as of late Saturday.

Police said Sunday afternoon that they have determined that there is no danger to the general public at this time.

“The investigation and testing is ongoing,” said Sgt. Shane Robbins in a press release, adding that he doesn’t expect additional information to be released until Tuesday at least.

“We appreciated the understanding that has been shown by the community at large during this tragic event. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this very difficult time.”

Over the weekend, authorities said they were exploring the possibility that the incident could be linked to the death of an elderly couple in the same hotel room two months before.

Emergency responders were called to the Best Western Plus Blue Ridge Plaza, located at 840 E. King St., .around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, after getting reports of a medical emergency involving two people, officials said.

The boy was pronounced dead at the hotel and his mother was taken to Watauga Medical Center by ambulance for treatment.

The Williams family’s pastor, Scott Davis of Northside Baptist Church in Rock Hill, said on Saturday that the pair was on a family vacation.

He added that relatives are devastated.

Davis said he and the boy’s father traveled to Boone Saturday afternoon after hearing of the death, WCNC reports.

No cause of death was released, but Robbins said investigators discovered that the hotel room the boy and his mother were found in is the same room where two elderly people were found dead on April 16.

“While no evidence has been discovered that these incidents are related, investigators continue to explore all possibilities,” Robbins said in a statement on Saturday.

Arriero: 704-804-2637

Observer reporter Cleve Wootson and WCNC contributed

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