CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The director of Charlotte-Douglas International Airport said Monday that an investigation into a possible security breach involving a 16-year-old remains ongoing.
Director Jerry Orr said Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are trying to determine how Delvonte Tisdale was able to evade security and climb aboard a Boeing 737 at the airport.
Tisdale's body was found in Milton, Mass., Nov. 15. Investigators there believe Tisdale fell from the wheel well of a plane as it was approaching Logan International Airport.
Tisdale apparently ran away from his Charlotte home and hopped on the plane headed for Boston.
"We don't know what happened and how it happened," Orr said in reference to the apparent security breach.
A district attorney in Massachusetts, who was investigating the case because it was first considered a homicide, informed federal transportation safety officials about the security breach.
"That something like this could happen obviously causes great concern," said Norfolk District Attorney William Keating.
Like most airports, Charlotte is surrounded by a chain-link fence topped with strands of barbed wire. Orr said the possibility that Tisdale got into the airport through that fence is just one of many theories that CMPD detectives are looking into.
"Safety is always our number one concern," Orr said. "We work on security all day, every day and spend a great deal of money on it. It's a failure when it doesn't work."
Family members said Tisdale was a member of the Air Force ROTC program at North Mecklenburg High School near Charlotte. His father, Anthony, said the family had moved from Greensboro to Charlotte in the summer so the teen could join that program. Anthony Tisdale said his son was happy in Charlotte and stayed out of trouble.
But Delvonte Tisdale's brother, Anthony Tisdale Jr., and other family members said the teen was unhappy in North Carolina and had never wanted to leave Baltimore, where he had lived earlier.