Former South Lake boy found dead in motel |

Former South Lake boy found dead in motel

by Scott Murphy

A 14-year-old boy was found dead in a Sierra Motel room Thursday morning, but the cause of death remains unknown despite a Friday autopsy.

Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini said Ronald Alan Knopp Jr. was a former South Lake Tahoe resident.

“There is no evidence of foul play,” Pierini said.

Results from the autopsy were inconclusive, said Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Lance Modispacher.

Knopp and his 52-year-old mother stayed at the motel during the eight days prior to his death, Pierini said. Deputies interviewed the boy’s mother Thursday.

Regular sheriff’s office protocol dictates the incident be treated as a homicide.

The family was scheduled to relocate to Sacramento on Thursday, Modispacher said.

The boy went to bed at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, Modispacher said. His mother discovered he was dead and called the Sheriff’s department at 6:40 a.m.

The boy had died at least two hours earlier.

Knopp was not sick in the days leading up to his death, Modispacher said.

Results of a toxicology test could take between six and eight weeks to be released, Modispacher said.

Nothing unusual was found during the autopsy, he added.

Modispacher said suicide cannot be eliminated as a possibility until deputies receive the toxicology test results.

The family moved to Carson Valley in February from South Lake, Modispacher said.

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