Family Of Teen Who Fell To Death From Ride ‘Does Not Know’ Woman Claiming To Be His Cousin



The mother of Tyre Sampson, the teenager who died after suddenly falling from a Florida amusement park ride, says she does not know the woman who has been claiming to be the cousin of her son in the media.
Credit: AP
The woman known as Shay Johnson said she was the 14-year-old's cousin and told several publications that she had spoken with Tyre just a few short moments before he got on the Orlando Free Fall during his nighttime visit to ICON Park on March 24.

Johnson recalled how Tyre had supposedly told her he had been turned away from two other rides due to his 6'5'', 340-lb size.


The woman had talked at press conferences, collected signatures for a petition to bring an end to the ride from which Tyre fell, and led prayer vigils outside the Free Fall ride.

This is what Johnson, posing as Tyre's cousin, had to say:


However, Nekia Dodd, the teen's mother, and other members of his family, say they do not know who the woman is.

Dodd told Orange County detectives "she does not know who Shay Johnson is," a spokesperson for the sheriff's office told the Sun Sentinel.

Lawyers representing the deceased youngster's family told WFTV that the entire family is unaware of who Johnson is.

Authorities have since looked into the matter. A report is yet to be released, and as of yet, no arrest is pending.


The phone number Johnson gave the Sentinel was not in service on Thursday. Also on Thursday, Johnson's place of work, Flash Dancer's Bar in Orlando, revealed in a statement that she had been dismissed.

The revelation that the late teen's vocal "cousin" is an imposter comes as investigators continue to search for a cause of death in the tragic case.

On Friday, Florida's Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said a "complete and thorough investigation" would be carried out involving an external forensic engineering company to help ascertain how the teen fell to his death, despite being locked into his seat.

"We are fully committed to finding out what happened so we can better prevent such tragedies from happening in the future – and that’s why we will not be jumping to any conclusions before the information is provided to us and we know all the facts," Fried said, per Fox 13.


At the time of his death, Sampson had been visiting Orlando with a friend's family from St. Louis, Missouri, according to his parents.






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