The body of a 17-year-old boy was found in bushes lining the San Gabriel River Trail in the South El Monte area by his family who had been searching for him on Wednesday, authorities said.
The South El Monte High School student's father had reported him missing earlier in the day after he failed to arrive at school, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. John Corina said.
Loved ones canvassed the area out of concern and came upon the grisly discovery in the area of Thienes Avenue and Parkway Drive, on the border with Avocado Heights. His body was lying face down, fully clothed, according to Corina.
They immediately called authorities, who responded to the area around 4:50 p.m. and pronounced the teen dead at the scene.
Investigators are now canvassing the area to uncover any possible evidence.
“We’re trying to figure out now what he’s doing down here and how he ended up dead,” Corina said.
No security cameras had been located in the area, detectives said.
His family remained near the scene of the investigation Wednesday night, weeping. They declined to speak with media and identify the boy, but friends described him as a good kid and athlete who played on the football team.
The coroner's office later identified the teen as Jeremy Sanchez, Lt. David Smith said.
The area along the riverbed can be somewhat busy, with a bike trail and many homeless individuals who live there, Corina said.
Officials provided no further information, citing their ongoing investigation.
KTLA's Nidia Becerra contributed to this story.