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Missouri Boot Camp Death Referred to FBI

WASHINGTON - Congressional investigators looking into the death of a student at a Missouri boot camp for troubled teens have referred the case to the FBI.

The Government Accountability Office made the referral after completing its report on thousands of allegations of abuse, neglect and deaths at treatment programs around the country.

Robert Reyes, 15, died in 2004 after spending less than two weeks at the Thayer Learning Center, a military-type home in Kidder, about 50 miles north of Kansas City.

Reyes' death was blamed on a probable spider bite, but the GAO report found he had been ill for days and punished for being too weak to exercise.  He also was forced to wear a 20-pound sandbag around his neck.

Officials at Thayer and the FBI did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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