TIJUANA, Mexico — A mission to help children at an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico, turned tragic Sunday when a Sidney teen died.
Ty Martin, 17, son of Alison and Tim Martin of Sidney, died during the Sidney First United Methodist Church’s mission trip. The cause of death or circumstances surrounding his death weren’t available at press time; however, the Rev. David Chivington, pastor of Sidney First UMC, said Martin’s death was the result of a fall.
“We go on a mission once or twice a year to the orphanage in Mexico,” said Chivington. “Ty was part of a group of 11 or 12 people who left on June 29. He passed away on Sunday.”
Martin, who was a student in Sidney City Schools, was a “very generous teen,” said Chivington. “He served with the Joy Church at the Alpha Center. He was friendly and a very open person. He wanted to go on the mission trip to help other people.”
Chivington said this was the third trip Martin had taken to the orphanage. On some trips, the workers provide physical labor and other times they “reach out to the people” by just walking and talking with them, he said.
“Some of the photos posted on Facebook show Ty talking with the children. He was really enjoying his trip,” Chivington added.
His parents traveled to Tijuana Sunday to bring “Ty home,” said Chivington. They met Tuesday with the Tijuana district attorney to complete paperwork regarding the release of the body.
Chivington posted on his Facebook page that Martin’s parents were permitted into Mexico on Monday and went to the hospital and identified their son. They are working with a funeral home in Mexico in preparation for his body to be transferred to a funeral home in San Diego.
From there, he will be brought to Sidney to Cromes Funeral Home, where arrangements are pending.
The mission team, wrote Chivington on Facebook, was expected to return to Sidney on Tuesday afternoon. One member of the team remained in Mexico to assist the Martin family.
Sidney High School Principal Jon Geuy said Martin “was a good kid and very intelligent. He was super smart and his mind was always active and was always thinking about things.”
Geuy said Martin’s jovial spirit will be something he’ll remember.
“He’s one of those kids that’s going to be missed,” said Geuy.
The high school administration, said Geuy, is at the high school for any student who might need assistance during this tragedy.
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