Remains of Missing 14-Year-Old Boy Found in West Virginia, Sheriff's Department Says

Johnathan Benjamin Adams
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Authorities in West Virginia have found what they believe to be the remains of a 14-year-boy who went missing nearly a week ago. 

Jonathan "Johnny" Benjamin Adams was reported missing by his family at 9:30 a.m. on July 12 in Augusta, West Virginia. Originally from Connecticut, Johnny had been staying with relatives on their family farm since March amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Cumberland News-Times reported.

His disappearance sparked a massive, 130-acre search by local authorities and the FBI. His family offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to his whereabouts.

But nearly a week after he went missing, authorities confirmed they found what they believe to be Jonathan's remains in "a shallow grave" that was "located in a heavily wooded area, near the location the victim was reported missing last Sunday morning. The area of the recovery was extremely difficult to access due to heavy underbrush," the Hampshire County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

The remains have been sent to the medical examiner for confirmation, the sheriff's department said. Police say a 16-year-old relative was arrested and charged with burglary. 

In addition, "investigators have developed a suspect in the death of Adams," the sheriff's department said. The suspect's name has not been released, and police say the investigation is ongoing.

Johnny loved to travel, play sports and be with others, his father told CBS affiliate WFSB, and he had just graduated from King Philip Middle School in West Hartford, Connecticut.

"Johnny’s smile could light up a room," West Hartford Public School officials said in a statement after learning of the teen's passing. 

Johnny's father, Angel Jaquez, told WFSB the family is devastated to learn of Johnny's death but relieved his body was found. 

"[We're] relieved that things came to a peaceful moment for now. We found Johnny. We’re going to bring him back," Jaquez said. 

The Hampshire County Sheriff's Office asks anyone with information about the case to contact them at 304-822-3894.

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