How Did Kristen Chase Die at the Challenger Foundation Camp in Utah?

Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare is a disturbing exposé of a wilderness rehabilitation camp founded in the late 1980s by Steve Cartisano. The camp's goal was to rebuild “troubled teens” into better people by subjecting them to a series of physical and mental ordeals.

The camp was a hit at first, with the US believing that youngsters of the time were sinking into decadence, but disaster and controversy were not far away, and a sixteen-year-old girl named Kristen Chase sadly and unnecessarily lost her life.

Given the circumstances surrounding Kristen's death, it's no surprise that the rest of the world is wondering about what happened to her and how her family, some of whom were even featured in the documentary film, is doing these days.

How Did Kristen Chase Die?

Kristen Chase was born in 1973, the daughter of Sharon Fuqua and Ronald Chase. Sharon, who also appears in the film, spoke about how much she adored her daughter when she was younger and reveled in her antics.

However, as Kristen approached adolescence, her family became concerned about some of her “rebellious” behavior. At the time, Steve Cartisano's Challenge Foundation was gaining popularity around the country as a means of reportedly assisting people in a predicament similar to Kristen's.

How Did Kristen Chase Die

As a result, Kristen's family chose to send her to the Challenger Camp in Utah in the summer of 1990. The youngsters had to travel across the Utah desert in harsh heat and sunlight as part of the routine followed by those in charge of the wilderness camp.

 Kristen fainted three days into the 63-day program while hiking on Fifty Mile Mountain in Utah's Kane County. She was subsequently taken to a neighboring hospital, where she died.

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Kristen's death on June 26, 1990, was judged to have been principally caused by heatstroke, implicating the organization's higher-ups, especially Steve Cartisano. 

Kristen and her family fought Cartisano for two years to prove that he was accountable for the conditions that led to their daughter's death. However, the jury finally decided that it could not be proven that Kristen's death was purely due to heatstroke, resulting in Cartisano's acquittal.

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