That Heartbreaking Story of a Boy Dying in Santa's Arms Might Not Be True

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(Photo: Eric Schmitt-Matzen)

The viral story of a terminally ill boy who died in Santa's arms has begun to unravel and may be too good to be true.

The Tennessee newspaper, The Knoxville News Sentinel, originally published the story, but revealed on Wednesday that they could not verify the authenticity of the story.

"The News Sentinel cannot establish that Schmitt-Matzen's account is inaccurate, but more importantly, ongoing reporting cannot establish that it is accurate," McElroy and Venable wrote. "Therefore, because the story does not meet the newspaper's standards of verification, we are no longer standing by the veracity of Schmitt-Matzen's account." 

CNN, who spoke to the Santa actor, Eric Schmitt-Matzen before people began to notice holes in the story, contacted all of the hospitals in the Knoxville area that treat children and could not find any situations matching the story. 

Despite scrutiny, the actor is sticking to his story. 

"If some people want to call me a liar ... I can handle that better than I can handle a child in my arms dying," Schmitt-Matzen told the Washington Post. "It's sticks and stones."