Family: No charges pursued after Cody Flom died on summer hike in Sonoran Preserve

Posted at 10:54 AM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 22:30:55-04

No charges are being filed in a case involving a 12-year-old boy who died while hiking in the Valley last summer

ABC15 confirmed the news with Cody Flom's family on Monday.

Flom became ill while hiking with his mother's boyfriend at the Sonoran Preserve on a 112-degree day last July. The man tried to carry him off the trail and then tried dialing 911, but his phone didn't work. Police say he left the boy to get help. 

An autopsy ruled the boy's death an accident, the result of exposure to excessive heat. The report also indicated he had superficial cuts and abrasions on his torso, arms and legs.

According to Sgt. Alan R. Pfohl, child abuse charges were being submitted against Cody's mother's boyfriend in February.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery's office released a statement saying: “After thoroughly reviewing the circumstances involved and the evidence provided through the investigation, we have determined there is no reasonable likelihood of proving the required elements of a felony offense beyond a reasonable doubt...In fact, as tragic as the events of that day were all available evidence negates any theory of an intentional effort to harm Cody.”

Flom's father Brian spoke out about the need for more strict regulations regarding young hikers on trails in the Valley's extreme heat.

He says the decision to not prosecute is "absolutely ridiculous" and that "no one ever said that my son's death was intentional." He said he had expected prosecutors to file a felony charge of child abuse for placing the boy in a situation that endangered his health.

"Even it was not an intentional thing, there is still an accountability issue," said Flom, who added that he will now pursue other legal options.

His current wife, Heather, called the decision not to file charges "totally unacceptable."

The couple said Flom's ex-wife and her boyfriend are both registered nurses.

The release from the County Attorney's Office said the boyfriend, who has not been publicly identified, gave Cody about two liters of water and a piece of fruit before the hike.

The family is working with community members and the Arizona Parks and Recreation Department to make sure other children are protected.

The community recently held a memorial for Flom, marking a year since the boy's death.