Codey "Code-Red" Porter died after imitating what this news station called "Nerutu Sand Ninjas" (Naruto).
Cody had recently been failing his Ninja Academy tests. This is thought to have led to his demise.
Everett boy buried in sandbox dies
10:51 PM PDT on Monday, March 10, 2008
By DEBORAH FELDMAN / KING 5 News and KING5.com Staff
Video: Codey's family taking steps to help others
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EVERETT, Wash. - An Everett-area family is in mourning a 10-year-old boy who died after being buried alive by his playmates.
In a statement, the family of Codey Porter says he died peacefully at 3:35 p.m. on Monday with his family by his side.
The bizarre incident, which happened on Saturday, may have been sparked by a television cartoon.
Family members describe Codey, a fifth grader at Silver Firs Elementary School in Everett, as smart and imaginative. Unfortunately, it may have been his imagination that led to his critical situation.
"Really articulate. He's got a really good imagination too. He's just not a regular 10-year-old," said Joshua Quantrille, 30, who is Codey's half-brother.
Everett Public Schools
Codey Porter died Monday, March 10, 2008, two days after being buried alive in a sandbox.
Quantrille said Codey was playing with his own three sons and several other children Saturday in the backyard of a family friend's home.
"They watch a cartoon where there were like sandmasters or something. They can manipulate sand or something like that," said Quantrille. "He came up with an idea if he were to do this, then he would be able to be one of them. They're all under 10, so a pretty crazy imagination, you know. They were like hey, OK."
Video: Boy airlifted to Harborview Medical Center
10-year-old in critical condition after being buried in sandbox
Blog: Sorrow over child buried in sandbox
The cartoon "Naruto" shows the characters using sand as a tool and weapon and could have been what Codey and the others were trying to mimic when he was buried, headfirst, in a sandbox in the backyard of the house.
Quantrille said Codey was buried roughly from his head to his chest. At some point, he began thrashing around, but the children apparently thought he was playing.
Eventually they figured out something was wrong. They pulled Codey out and called the adults inside the home, who administered CPR until an aid car arrived.
On Monday, Codey's classmates at Silver Firs Elementary in Everett tried to understand what has happened to the fifth grader. The principal describes Codey as a very bright student with a lot of friends. The principal also sent home a letter with students so that their parents would be informed.
Parents said they were bracing for some difficult conversations.
"I have a third grader at home, so he's going to come home with some information. So certainly, the need to edit, filter, and hear what he thinks about what he heard is important," said one parent.
Grief counselors are now helping at the school.
Snohomish County detectives said they interviewed all the children playing in the sandbox at the time and view this as a tragic accident.
The Porter family decided to donate their son's organs. They are still formalizing plans to lay him to rest.
A memorial fund for Codey Porter has been set up through Gold Creek Community Church. The best way to donate is to log on to their Web site at www.goldcreek.org.
Codey, a fifth-grader, reportedly was playing among a group of children near his age late Saturday morning when the group came up with an idea inspired by the popular anime-style character "Naruto." According to the official U.S. Naruto Web site, the character is a 13-year-old aspiring ninja who likes to play pranks more than he likes to train.
The mimicry involved Codey's playmates burying him head-first in a one-foot-deep sandbox, Joshua Quantrille told ABC News' Seattle affiliate KOMO-TV. Quantrille, 30, is Codey Porter's half-brother and his three sons were among the boys playing in the sand box Saturday with Codey.
Quantrille said the other children initially thought Codey, buried from his head to the top of his chest, was joking when he started to thrash around. By the time they got help, the boy had already stopped breathing. Adults at the house tried unsuccessfully to administer CPR before emergency medical personnel arrived.
The boy was transported first to Providence Everett Medical Center and was later flown to Seattle, where he remained in critical condition at the children's hospital until his death Monday.