Police & Courts

Canton woman said son died of apparent suicide in juvenile center

Nathan Jaynes | Photo courtesy of his family
Posted: Apr. 16, 2018 5:30 pm

CANTON, Mo. -- A Canton teen was pronounced dead Sunday at the University Hospital in Columbia, four days after he apparently hanged himself while being held in a juvenile detention center.

Jennifer Harmon of Canton said she had pleaded with officials to monitor her 16-year-old son, Nathan Jaynes, who had threatened suicide in the past.

Officials report that emergency crews were called Wednesday afternoon to the Bruce Normile Juvenile Justice Center in Kirksville. Jaynes was found hanging in his room and was not breathing. CPR was started at the scene, and his heartbeat was restored at Northeast Regional Medical Center before Jaynes was taken to Columbia.

"He had been in the detention center for 30 days, and the last two weeks he had been begging for help," Harmon said. "They say the room doors have to be open during the day, but they allowed him to go into his room and shut the door."

Harmon said her son's organs were harvested to help people who are in need of transplants. She hopes to have his body in Canton for burial soon.

Jaynes attended Adams and Baldwin schools in Quincy, Ill., and Canton R-V High School, a family member said.

Adair County Court Services Administrator Patrick Williams, as well as other county and state officials, did not return phone calls concerning Jaynes’ death.

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