AUTOPSY: Baseball Player's Cause Of Death Remains Mystery

A funeral will be held tonight for a high school baseball player who was found dead Saturday at his Wayne County home, this as authorities still don't know why he died.

Kevin Wise, Jr. played center field for Southern Wayne High School and had recently accepted a 4-year scholarship to play for UNC-Chapel Hill.

Authorities now say preliminary autopsy results on the 17-year-old didn't show anything and his cause of death is still undetermined. Major Tom Effler with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office says it will be at least six to eight weeks before the results of toxicology and other tests come back.

Wise's mother found him Saturday morning when she tried to awaken him for baseball practice.

Center field at Southern Wayne is now a temporary memorial. Wise's initials are spray painted in the outfield, along with signs from his teammates.

Wise's funeral will be at Southern Wayne High School Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. while burial will be Wednesday morning at Wayne Memorial Park.


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A high school senior who had signed to play baseball for the UNC Tar Heels was found dead this weekend at his home.

Kevin Wise, Jr. was a standout player at Southern Wayne High School and had recently been awarded a four-year scholarship to play at Chapel Hill.

Major Tom Effler with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office says Wise's mother went to wake him up for baseball practice on Saturday morning and found him unresponsive. Effler says it doesn't look like any foul play was involved, but right now it's a mystery on how the 17 year old died.

Wise played center field for his high school team, where there is now a temporary memorial on the baseball field. His initials are spray painted in the outfield, along with signs from his teammates.

His father tells us the loss is shocking and upsetting, because his son was a seemingly healthy, happy teenager. "Everyone loved him. I mean, we're still in shock, you know? And I'll never get over it," said Kevin Wise, Sr. "I mean, he was just everything in the world to me."

His body was taken to Chapel Hill for an autopsy.

Wise's funeral will be at Southern Wayne High School Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. while burial will be Wednesday morning at Wayne Memorial Park.


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  • by tooth tech Location: nc on Feb 24, 2012 at 06:15 PM
    Kevin was an exceptional young man, to say the least. My child shared the field with him many times during legion ball. I had a chance to observe the game along side his grandfather. It was a very memorable experience. Kevin made us all enjoy the game much more as we witness remarkable talent before our eyes. Kevin created a presence of confidence that can not be explained. He will be missed.
  • by friend Location: nc on Feb 22, 2012 at 09:34 PM
    i know it hard to lose some one so close to you. i am 19 but still. i graduated from swhs(go saints) in 2011. i have heard so many great things about kevin. seen him a couple of time in the hall. he helped any one in need and had many friends.. may god be with his family and friends and may he rest in peace!
  • by Tom Location: Wake Forest on Feb 22, 2012 at 07:43 PM
    My son attended a one day camp at ECU last year and there was a left handed kid there that wowed everyone. The ECU coaches were all over this kid. I went over to his grandfather and brother I think and asked them what his name was because I knew this kid was going to play big time baseball somewhere. He just stood out over every player at the camp. His name was Kevin Wise. I just stumbled across his passing a few moments ago online and it just breaks my heart. What a baseball talent he was and seemed to be just as fine a human being. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
  • by Medic on Feb 22, 2012 at 06:46 AM
    As a fellow co-worker of his mother this is a diffucult time for this family he was a 17 y/o young mand that worshiped god, and was a great kid that is first and foremost i was at the services last night just to clarify no results on autopsy yet and to show what character this young man had was a tribute by the # of family and friends that was there along with members of baseball teams from Wayne County @ the coach of the Tarheel was also there.As parents we should not have to lay our children to rest ahead of us and please say a prayer for the famly as they lay this young man to rest today.
  • by Goldsboro Native Location: Goldsboro on Feb 22, 2012 at 06:22 AM
    Prayers continue to go up to this family. While we try not to question when things like this happen.... I think the answer became clear last night when 150-200 people were saved at Kevin's funeral. His job on earth was finished. I pray that the family, friends, teammates, and community can find the peace and comfort that they need and deserve. Sounds like Wayne County definitely lost a fine young man.
  • by Lisa Location: Massengill on Feb 22, 2012 at 06:16 AM
    This family is suffering. Kevin was well thought of and a wonderful example of a fine young man. Please do not make comments that are spiteful. I do not think that is what you would want, if this was your loved one. There is some information about his death that has not been on the news. It was not an enlarged heart. And we will leave it at that. May God wrap his loving arms around this family and help them now and in the painful days to follow.
  • by sc on Feb 21, 2012 at 06:54 PM
    I can not imagine what this family is going through right now. I hope they find strength from family and friends and in God to get them through this terrible time. Prayers being said for you all.
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Feb 21, 2012 at 02:04 PM
    Forget where the guy was going to play his college baseball! It's a sad situation to have any young person passed away and I feel terrible for his family, especially his mother. That's a mother's worst nightmare and that's a father's worst nightmare. Thoughts and prayers go out to the boy's family.
  • by Nina Location: Goldsboro on Feb 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM
    Did not know this young man, but my heart goes out to his family. May God comfort all of you and bring you peace.
  • by Faith Tyson Location: Washington on Feb 21, 2012 at 12:37 PM
    My heart goes out for his family.. I didnt even know this young man, and this is such a tragedy!! May he rest in peace, and may God help the family of this young man find peace somehow. To the family, just knowing he brought joy to your lives is very comforting, something no one will be able to take from you. Again so sorry for your loss, and I will pray for each and every one of ya.
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