On the morning of Jan. 5, Bay County sheriff's Sgt. David Cruel called 911 to report a medical emergency at a boot camp for juvenile delinquents.
"We need an ambulance over here immediately, please, " Cruel said. "We got an offender that we just entered this morning. Looks like he's passed out."
What Cruel didn't say: At least seven of his co-workers had spent more than half an hour manhandling 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson. They punched and kneed him, dragged him around and shoved ammonia capsules in his nose. When they were through, he lay on the ground, dying.
Hours after the 911 call, the sheriff's office, which ran the camp, posted a press release on its website, saying Martin had fallen "ill." Headline: Boot Camp Offender Receives Medical Care.
Thus began a concerted effort to define Martin's death as a tragic but unforeseeable medical mishap, whether from illness or shoddy medical care.
From the Panama City boot camp to the state Department of Juvenile Justice, officials miscast the circumstances surrounding the youth's demise numerous times in the ensuing days, masking the brutal details of a death that brought national attention, major reforms to Florida's boot camps and the resignation of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's chief, Guy Tunnell, who had founded the boot camp when he was Bay County sheriff.
In those first days immediately after Martin's death, Tunnell's FDLE, which was investigating his former agency, refused to release the videotape of the beating. Meanwhile, some officials cast aspersions on Martin, portraying him as a malingering, belligerent drug user and gang member who provoked guards to use "force" to restrain him when he became "uncooperative."
The juvenile justice agency even floated a theory to lawmakers and The Miami Herald that Martin bled to death when emergency workers botched a procedure to insert a breathing tube, piercing the youth's windpipe.
The boot camp's narrative of Martin's final conscious hours contrasts sharply with the emerging picture of Martin as a victim of brutality:
Martin was suffocated by guards who held his mouth shut while they jammed ammonia tablets up his nose in an attempt to revive him, according to a new autopsy performed at the request of a special prosecutor, who also threw FDLE off the case after Tunnell sent chummy emails to Bay County's sheriff. No arrests have been made in the case.
The official version of events of Jan. 5, like Martin, died hard.
Even paramedics and emergency-room doctors - whose treatment of the youth depended in large part on what they were told ailed him - were told little. They were given a benign story by guards about a teenager who had mysteriously collapsed.
"After about 15 minutes of physical therapy, the patient said he could not go on, and he collapsed to the ground, " Jeffrey Appel, the emergency-room doctor at Bay Medical Center, wrote, based on information he received from guards. The guards, the doctor added, "used an ammonia capsule to the nose. He got some response from that, but then went completely unresponsive."
Paramedics aboard a Panhandle air rescue service that airlifted Martin from Bay Medical to a trauma center in Pensacola say they were told only that the youth passed out from exercise.
"Patient was at juvenile boot camp - running a 1.5-mile run, " their notes say. "Stopped midway through run, stated 'I can't do this' and then collapsed."