Child found dead at home
Early indications are death was diabetes-related
A 14-year-old local girl was found by her father dead at home in Sneads Wednesday afternoon.
Sneads Police Chief Burt McAlpin said “no foul play whatsoever is suspected” in the death of Carson Elaina Faircloth. Although lab reports will not be immediately available, her death is strongly believed to be related her diabetes. She was diagnosed with it at the age of four.
McAlpin said her father, Jeff Faircloth, came in from work around 4:30 p.m. and found her seemingly at rest on her bed. But he soon realized she was not breathing.
McAlpin said she is believed to have died before noon that day.
“She was loved by all who knew her,” McAlpin said. “She was a popular, energetic child, has a good family and a lot of friends, and we hate this situation for everyone who loves her. Our thoughts are with them all.”
She was pronounced dead at the scene by Sneads Police Department personnel and the Jackson County Fire Rescue EMS team members.
Tony Gurganus was a coach, teacher and athletic director at Carson’s school for many years, and has been a friend of the child’s family for three decades. Gurganus said Carson was one of his favorite young people; years ago he’d nicknamed her “Sugar Free,” and she loved the reference.
Gurganus retired at the end of the 2010-11 school year. Carson left him a goodbye message on the last day of school, a scrawled note that means more to Gurganus in the wake of her loss. Stuck on a window to his office, the note read, “Sugar Free loves you.” Gurganus said he never throws anything away that a child gives him, and he is especially glad of that now.
Gurganus said he spent a sleepless night Wednesday on hearing the news of Carson’s death.
“Every time I closed my eyes, I’d see her face,” Gurganus said. “I interacted with her every day. She was a special, wonderful child who wore her emotions on her sleeve. You always knew how she felt, and she never got down (about having diabetes). She dealt with it, and she had a great, wonderful sense of humor.
“I was shocked when I heard what happened. You read about this stuff, but very seldom do you think it’s going to happen to someone you know, let alone a child that you love. Jeff’s a good friend, and my heart’s out to him and his family. We’ve refereed together, played ball together, and our careers sort of ran side by side. He ran the Northwest Florida Officials Association, and I was working games. I talked to him two or three days a week. I can’t imagine the pain he must be in right now.”
Phyllis Daniels, another teacher at Grand Ridge School, said Carson was a bright presence in the student body there.
“She was a delightful, happy child,” Daniels said. “She did have a health issue she battled, but she didn’t let it interfere with loving life whatsoever. She was just so happy, and our heart in Grand Ridge School goes out to the family.
So sad to lose yet another to this disease. What a beautiful girl.
Sweet Girl. It’s Awful that this still happens nowadays. Diabetes can certainly be vicious. Prayers have been said by us yesterday and today for her and her Family. .
Well that just ruined my day. Just goes to show you that no matter how in-control you think you may be, anything can happen…
How sad ;-( what a good kid… My heart goes out to her family Damm this D