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Family, Friends Cooperating With Investigators In Lee County Teen Shooting Death

14-Year-Old Found Shot In Woods Near Lee/Harnett County Line

November 13, 2003

The Harnett County Sheriff's Office said the family and friends of a 14-year-old teen who was found dead Wednesday have been cooperating with authorities.

Rescue crews found Daniel Sheets dead from a gunshot wound around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday behind a house in a wooded area near the Lee/Harnett County line.

Crews from several counties searched through the night for the boy who was last seen deer hunting with two cousins and a friend Tuesday morning.

Authorities said the three boys who had gone hunting with Sheets state that none of them were with him when he was shot. Detectives said the three boys have also stated that they have no information on who may have shot him.

The Harnett County sheriff is handling the case and has not said how Sheets was shot. Investigators told a relative that Sheets was shot through the head or neck and died instantly.

"They came and told us the news and it was not good," said Lois Ayers, a cousin.

Ayers has ruled out suicide because she said Sheets was not carrying a gun. She said one of his cousins did have a gun. She also said whoever shot Sheets could have mistaken him for a deer because he was wearing camouflage clothing without any hunter's orange.

"[It's] probably just a really, really, really bad accident. We don't know who did it, but whoever did it, I hope and pray it was accidental and not something intentional," Ayers said.

Sheets is survived by his parents and two sisters.

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