Teen electrocuted while working on unplugged computer

A 16-year-old is stripping down a family computer, which is unplugged. He dies. An autopsy reveals electrocution burns.

Chris Matyszczyk
electrical hazard
KCTV-5 Screenshot by Jonathan Skillings/CNET

Those who don't know about electronics assume that if you unplug a device, it becomes safe.

Perhaps that's what a teenager from Shawnee, Kan., might have thought when he reportedly worked on his family computer.

It was unplugged, yet the teen died in what seemed inexplicable circumstances.

According to KCTV-5, an autopsy revealed electrical burns on the unnamed teen's body, which experts conclude happened after he gained access to the computer's power supply.

He was reportedly stripping the computer down for parts.

Clearly, not all the details surrounding this case have been revealed. It is unclear how long the computer might have been turned off.

Still, though many teens now fancy themselves as technological experts, it's as well to consider whether it's worth it, especially as some replacement parts can be cheap.

As computer repair expert Dave Bradshaw told KCTV-5: "It's a $20 power supply. Why tear into it?

He added: "You're taking your life into your own hands."