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Family says south Georgia 19-year-old recovering after being taped to chair, 'tortured'

Officials with the Glynn County Police Department said several juveniles are involved in the incident. The GBI and FBI are also involved with the investigation.

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — Editor's Note: Some viewers may find the content in this story graphic and difficult to read. 

The Glynn County Police Department has opened up an investigation after officials said a 19-year-old was dropped off at a south Georgia hospital at night. Doctors found him with "high levels" of substances and alcohol in his system.

According to police, hospital staff at the Southeast Georgia Health Center in Brunswick told officers three juveniles brought Trenton Lehrkamp to the emergency room on Tuesday, March 21 but left before officers arrived around 10:40 p.m. 

Police said the 19-year-old had no signs of physical injuries but appeared to be covered in spray paint. Hospital staff treated him for intoxication from a "mixture of controlled substances and alcohol," according to a release from Glynn County police.

Lehrkamp's best friend Michael Sullins said Monday that his childhood friend had been beaten and bullied before being left at the ER.

"It's just sad, it's sickening," Sullins said. "I hope those kids get charged."

Authorities opened the investigation into the incident shortly after responding to the hospital, first serving a warrant on March 22 for a home on St. Simons Island where the incident allegedly happened. Officials collected evidence and received more warrants to further their investigation.

Officials also interviewed several other juveniles they believed to be associated with the incident and are continuing to conduct more interviews.

On Wednesday, March 29, Glynn County Police gave an update in where the investigation stands. Watch that below

According to Sullins, the teens did disturbing damage to his best friend.

"They forced a whole handle of Tito's (vodka) down him. When he got to the hospital he had a blood intoxication level of (0.464)," he said.

A photo circulating on social media is slowly becoming viral within the community. 11Alive is not sharing the photo in the online story due to the graphic nature and it depicts minors who have not been accused of any crimes. It is blurred in the video attached to this story.

In the photo, Lehrkamp is sitting in a chair with what appears to be feces on his lap and spray paint covering his face. Police later said that evidence did not show that anyone defecated on the 19-year-old.

Police clarified that the videos circulating appear to show the 19-year-old in a previous incident -- not the one that led to Lehrkamp being dropped off at the hospital.

Lehrkamp had been on life support according to his family, but five days later, on March 26, he was able to speak with police and told officers what happened. A family member said though the teen is no longer on a ventilator he is still battling fevers and a lung infection.

"It's so disturbing and so disgusting what these kids did to him," said his aunt, Janele Tucker.

Authorities said the Lehrkamp and his family are fully cooperating with the department and the investigation.

Glynn County police said they are discussing the case with several agencies, including the state's Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Police are encouraging those who might know anything to come forward. Anyone who does is asked to call the silent witness program at 912-264-1333 or email the unit at 911silentwitness@glynncounty-ga.gov.

No one has been arrested in the incident at this time. 

Editor's note: A previous version of this story quoted an incorrect blood alcohol concentration level from Lehrkamp's friend. It has since been corrected to the level stated in the police report.

Police also noted in an April 3 news release that they have not found evidence to support that Lehrkamp ingested battery acid or that anyone defecated on him. This story has been updated to reflect the latest from police.

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