ORANGE (CBS) — The Orange County Register is reporting that Will Norton, the Chapman University-bound Missouri resident missing in the tornado that swept through Joplin last Sunday, has been found dead.
Family and friends had been holding out hope that Norton would be found alive.
There were early reports, through the chaos of the storm, that he was at an area hospital before being transferred.
Norton’s sister told Anderson Cooper on CNN that her brother had been lifted out of the family’s Hummer, despite having his seat belt on.
Norton and his father were driving home from Will’s high school graduation when the tornado struck.
A facebook page (Help Find Will Norton) was also established to aid in the search for the student. The page had nearly 50,000 fans.
His family has established a memorial fund in his honor and said they want to benefit multiple organizations important to their son. One of the organizations they identified was the Joplin Animal Adoption and Resource Center.
The family is combing through condolences at WishesForWill@gmail.com.
As of Saturday, May 28, the official death toll in Joplin is 142 with 105 still missing or unaccounted for.
President Barack Obama is expected to visit Joplin tomorrow for a memorial service.