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Did Santa make it up?

Newspaper Can't Verify Story Of Dying Boy

Did Santa make it up?

That's the question some are asking about the story of a Tennessee man who says a terminally ill boy died in his arms while he was portraying Santa Claus.

The story about Eric Schmitt-Matzen was first published in the Knoxville News-Sentinel. It quickly gained international attention, but the newspaper is now backing away from the story because it can't verify the claim.

The paper said Schmitt-Matzen has refused to provide more details because he said he promised to protect the identifies of the child's family and the nurse who called him to the boy's bedside. Schmitt-Matzen said the story is true, but he will not name those involved.