MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The search for a missing South Florida teenager is officially over as Miami-Dade Homicide detectives confirm his body was found in a canal in the Everglades.
Jesus Trejo, 18, disappeared in Southwest Miami-Dade and while police were searching for him on Wednesday afternoon, they found the body of an adult male in a canal.
Miami-Dade homicide detectives did not confirm Trejo’s identity until Thursday morning. They have classified his death as a homicide.
Sources told CBS4 News that Trejo appeared to have been shot in the head. In addition, sources said his body had bite marks showing signs of having been attacked by an alligator while in the water.
Trejo’s sister told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that she and her parents are heartbroken about the recent high school graduate from Homestead’s death.
“My brother was everything. I basically helped my mom raise him,” said Trejo’s older sister Jazmin Trejo. “He was the baby. He was everything to me. He had just turned 18 and to die like that, it hurts.”
“I have to hold up for my parents,” she told D’Oench. “They are not doing well. I can’t break down because if I break down, they will break down.”
The family is looking for answers, though, and wants justice for Trejo’s death.
“I always told him to be careful,” she said. “The world is cruel. I always told him that when he went out. If someone would come forward, I would appreciate that. My brother never goes out by himself like that. No one should leave someone out there to die like that in the middle of nowhere just like they are trash. It shouldn’t have been that way.”
“I want to know who was out there with him, who he was with and what they were doing,” said his sister.
Authorities say they have no suspects in custody.
The recent high school graduate had been last seen Tuesday morning at around 9 o’clock.
“Yesterday in the morning he was at my house and he told us he was going to come meet a “white dude” over here at the Everglades,” Trejo’s aunt Angie Rodriguez said. “We didn’t know where specific in the Everglades. Everglades is so big.”
Information from friends and family led investigators to Southwest 232 Ave. just off Ingraham Highway in a remote area of Southwest Miami-Dade Wednesday afternoon.
That’s where they found Trejo’s blue Honda Civic abandoned.
“Obviously we’re going to start the search where we have the vehicle,” Jorge Pino with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said. “We’re still in the midst to see if we can find something unusual or something out of place.”
With K-9s on the ground and a chopper in the sky, police divers were eventually called in to assist in the search.
Friends and family stood by feeling helpless.
“He always sends us text messages,” Trejo’s father, Braulio, said in Spanish.
His parents tried calling his cell phone, but they said Trejo didn’t answer.
“He’s a good boy,” his mother said. “It surprised me that he would come out here,” she said in Spanish.
Friends said they offered to go with Trejo, but he told them he had to go alone.
“Nobody could believe it that he got lost,” Trejo’s friend, Xiomara Lopez said. “What happened to him?”