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No Charges Filed in Cave Deaths

July 31, 1993|Associated Press

CLAYTON, Mo. — Prosecutors won't file charges in the case of four boys and two counselors killed when a flash flood raced through a cave during a field trip by a home for troubled youths.

"We're not exonerating them of all wrongdoing, but I'm saying they did not commit a crime," St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch said Thursday.

McCulloch said he would be unable to overcome the legal hurdle in a criminal trial of proving that somebody knowingly subjected a child to a substantial risk of serious injury

The six died on July 23 during a field trip by St. Joseph's Home for Boys to Cliff Cave County Park, just south of St. Louis. The victims drowned when the cave flooded.

Barricades on the road to the mouth of the cave had signs warning "Road Closed." But the home's officials say there were no signs indicating the park and the cave were closed, and that groups from the home had taken field trips to the cave earlier in the week and were not told to leave.

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