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Body Found In L.A. River Confirmed By Family As Missing 14-Year-Old Boy

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Photo by Jeff Houze via LAist Featured Photo pool on Flickr
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The body of missing 14-year-old Elias Rodriguez was found along a sandbar in the L.A. River on Saturday. Rodriguez had gone missing on February 17 after he failed to return to his Sylmar home after school.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Rodriguez 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." Rodriguez was five-foot-four and 100 pounds, cites Los Angeles Daily News.

Following his disappearance, the LAPD and FBI joined in the boy's search. A $50,000 reward was offered for any information on the case.

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Photo via LAPD
Then, at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, February 25, a boy's body was found on an island in the L.A. River in Los Feliz. On Sunday, Rodriguez's family confirmed that the body pulled from the river was that of the missing boy, according to CBS.

"It's difficult to talk about because it was a hard thing to see, but obviously beat up from the canal and the water," LAPD Captain Peter Casey said, reports KABC. "The water is flowing fast right now, but on Friday the water was about 70 miles an hour."

The Coroner's office said Sunday that they were waiting on dental records to officially identify the body as Rodriguez, and that it may take a few days time, notes City News Service.

"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 on Sunday, adds the Times. "Words cannot capture the agony that Elias' grieving family has felt since his disappearance."