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10-year-old aspiring circus performer dead after accidental hanging

Andy Bronson / THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

Caleb Kors, 10, from the Bellingham, Wash., area

Tributes to a 10-year-old aspiring circus performer were pouring in Friday after his death in an accidental hanging at his home near Bellingham, Wash., as he was practicing with a costume prop.

Facebook postings honoring Caleb Kors featured pictures of flowers at a temporary public memorial at nearby Fairhaven Village Green, where Caleb was once photographed sitting on a bench with a statue of the town's father, "Dirty Dan" Harris. The page had more than 1,500 likes by late Friday.

On Thursday, Caleb's death was ruled an accident although details remained unclear, the Bellingham Herald reported.


He died Tuesday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle from brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen, according to the King County Medical Examiner's Office.

Members of the Bellingham Circus Guild who worked with Caleb told the Herald that Caleb was making a costume on Monday night when he suffered his injury. The costume included a rope, but how part of the costume became wrapped around Caleb's neck was not clear, the Herald reported.

Flip (Caleb) and Strangely performing their trapeze act at the Belllingham Circus Guilds: Vaudevillingam. (Sound cuts out when zooming.)

Caleb was often seen at the Bellingham Farmers Market. Under his stage name "Flip," the fifth-grader performed acrobatics and juggling tricks with the Guild.

"He is the kind of kid that just would light up your life," Danielle Rosellisen said of her close family friend.

Rosellisen said Caleb had a natural talent for acrobatics.

"He was good at being a monkey. Ever since he was little, he was crawling around and getting onto stuff," said Rosellisen. "A lot of people (at the Bellingham Farmers Market) recognize him week after week after week... You don't miss a kid like that."

Online, Caleb's mother and father thanked the community for its support. And Caleb will continue to affect people's lives even after death -- he is an organ donor.

"Those families are smiling and laughing and super excited right now, and that is the legacy that will live on," said Rosellisen. 

Those who wish to make donations to the family can visit calebkors.chipin.com/caleb-kors, said Bellingham School District spokeswoman Tanya Rowe. More than $7,000 had been raised by Friday to help the family pay bills.

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