Coroner Confirms That Body Found In L.A. River Is That Of Missing 14-Year-Old
On Tuesday morning, the L.A. County coroner’s office confirmed that the body recovered from the L.A. River on Saturday was indeed that of Elias Rodriguez, a 14-year-old boy who had gone missing over a week ago during a powerful storm.
Rodriguez was reported missing on Friday, February 17 after he failed to return to his Sylmar home after school. According to the Los Angeles Times, he was last seen at 1:30 p.m. on the 17th as he left Cesar Chavez Learning Academies along Arroyo Avenue in San Fernando. "Surveillance camera footage in the area shows Elias walking in front of businesses along Glenoaks Boulevard as powerful winds and pounding rain pummeled parts of Southern California." Both the LAPD and the FBI had participated in the search for Rodriguez, and a $50,000 reward had been offered for any information in the case.
His body was found on Saturday on an island along a sandbar in the L.A. River in Los Feliz, about 18 miles downriver of the Pacoima Wash area where Rodriguez had gone missing, according to ABC 7. His family positively identified the body on Sunday, but the coroner's officer had been waiting for dental records to confirm.
"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," Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. "Words cannot capture the agony that Elias' grieving family has felt since his disappearance."
A GoFundMe has been set up to assist Rodriguez's family.