The body of what is believed to be that of a 14-year-old Sylmar boy who disappeared during a powerful Southern California rainstorm has been found in the Los Angeles River, authorities are reporting.
The body, believed to be Elias Rodriguez, was recovered around 1:15 p.m. Saturday along the river in Los Feliz, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, however the coroner’s office has yet to make an official identification.
According to media reports, the boy’s mother was on scene when the body was recovered.
Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a statement Sunday concerning the possible death of Rodriguez.
“There is nothing more painful than the loss of a child, and the thoughts and prayers of all Angelenos are with the loved ones of Elias Rodriguez,” Garcetti wrote.
“Words cannot capture the agony that Elias’ grieving family has felt since his disappearance. I’ve asked my crisis response team, who have been with the family, to do everything possible to help them through what is surely their worst nightmare.”
Elias was reported missing Feb. 17 when he failed to return home from Cesar Chavez Learning Academies in San Fernando, according to police. He reportedly called his mother to tell her he was walking home from the school.
The body was recovered after an unidentified person reported seeing it on an island in the river.
Police believe Elias may have been swept away by the Pacoima Wash that feeds into the L.A. River.
Relatives, neighbors and law enforcement, including the FBI, had searched for the boy since he went missing. A helicopter search of the Los Angeles River had earlier turned up nothing.
The Los Angeles City Council offered a $50,000 reward for information that could help find the teen.
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