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Whiteland teen football player’s autopsy leaves family with bigger mystery

Whiteland teen football player’s autopsy leaves family with bigger mystery

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — Nearly two months after their 15-year-old son died unexpectedly, the family of a popular Whiteland Community High School football player is left searching for answers.

The reason Ryan Latham died is still a mystery.

Carol and Steve Latham were devastated when their son, Ryan, died Aug. 24. They thought they would have found out by now how he died.

The parents said they were blown off by the Johnson County coroner, and they’re left looking for closure they’re afraid will never come.

“We literally got his death certificate, and it was as informal as getting a receipt,” Carol Latham said.

“I can’t sit and relive everything all over again,” Steve Latham said.

Ryan died in his sleep. They told News 8 nothing appeared out of the ordinary when they found Ryan in his bed at the family’s Greenwood home.

Whiteland teen football player’s autopsy leaves family with bigger mystery

At first, his parents thought it was from a blood clot. The Lathams had an autopsy done.

But after eight weeks of waiting, they said the Johnson County coroner hadn’t returned their calls as to what exactly happened to their son, who they had thought was healthy.

On Tuesday, answers came from the funeral director. Ryan’s death certificate listed his cause of death as undetermined. His manner of death could also not be determined.

Carol Latham said, “What happened? Because, for whatever reason, it seemed like that would give us closure. That would give us an answer as to why he had leave us. Now, we don’t even have that. We didn’t even get the respect or the courtesy from the coroners to say, ‘Hey, we tried our best. We couldn’t find it.'”

They now fear whatever took Ryan’s life could also be a threat to his 11-year-old brother. That’s why the family is taking Renny to see doctors at Riley Children’s hospital at IU Health this week to get him tested for potential risks.

“It was something very small that took him from us, and we’re trying to make sure that it doesn’t take our other son from us, and we can’t do that if we know what it was,” Carol Latham said.

The Lathams said they are still trying to get in touch with the Johnson County coroner to try to get Ryan’s full autopsy report so they can send those records to other medical professionals to try and get some answers.

The Johnson County Coroner’s Office told News 8 the full autopsy is finalized, but some other information that has come in still has to be reviewed. They wouldn’t comment any further on the case.

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