Report of terminally ill boy who died in Santa’s arms called into question

News

FOX NEWS — It’s the one story everyone wants to be a hoax.

A Tennessee newspaper that reported a boy died on Santa’s lap — complete with a heart-wrenching account of his final words — said Wednesday it can no longer vouch for the veracity of the depressingly Dickensian Christmas story.

The News Sentinel published a story Sunday about a Campbell County Santa Claus actor, Eric Schmitt-Matzen, who said a terminally ill child had died in his arms. The story quickly went viral, with dozens of local and national news outlets interviewing Schmitt-Matzen about his emotional encounter with the unnamed 5-year-old boy.

But the paper said it cannot verify the account by Schmitt-Matzen, a 60-year-old mechanical engineer from Jacksboro, Tenn., who spends time volunteering as Santa Claus at a local hospital.

“I spent four years in the Army with the 75th Rangers, and I’ve seen my share of [stuff],” Schmitt-Matzen told USA Today. “But I ran by the nurses’ station bawling my head off. I know nurses and doctors see things like that every day, but I don’t know how they can take it.”

Read more at FOX News.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

More Viral