UPDATE 1:05 p.m. EDT: Authorities have identified the body as that of missing Miami teenager Jesus Trejo, according to NBC Miami.
The body of an adult man has been found in a canal in the Florida Everglades, but authorities have not confirmed whether it is the missing 18-year-old Jesus Trejo.
Trejo, a recent high school graduate, was last seen around 9 a.m. Tuesday, CBS Miami reported.
“[Tuesday] in the morning he was at my house and he told us he was going to come meet a ‘white dude’ over here at the Everglades,” Trejo’s aunt, Angie Rodriguez, told the Miami television station. “We don’t know where specific [sic] in the Everglades. Everglades is so big.”
Friends of Trejo said they insisted on going with him to the meeting but he rejected their help.
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“Nobody could believe it that he got lost,” said pal Xiomara Lopez. “What happened to him?”
An investigation into Trejo’s disappearance centered on Ingraham Highway and SW 232nd Avenue, in the southeast portion of the Everglades, about 10 miles from Homestead. Authorities found his abandoned Honda Civic in the area Wednesday afternoon.
“Obviously we’re going to start the search where we have the vehicle,” Jorge Pino of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told CBS Miami. “We’re still in the midst to see if we can find something unusual or something out of place.”
The search is being conducted by the commission, the Sweetwater Police Department and the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Miami Herald reported.
"We have several officers from the FWC that are assisting in the search," Pino told WSVN. "They're doing a building search about a mile behind us. There's [sic] several buildings, so they're doing building searches to make sure that the guy didn't fall asleep in there or who knows? He may be in there, so we're doing a search of every building, one by one, to make sure that we eliminate that as a factor."
While it’s still unknown what happened to Trejo, authorities do not believe foul play was involved. There were no prints from footsteps around the abandoned car.
Trejo’s family said it was odd not to hear from him.
“He always sends us text messages,” Trejo’s father, Braulio Trejo, told CBS Miami.
His mother said they called his cell phone but the 18-year-old hasn’t answered any calls.
“He’s a good boy,” she said. “It surprised me that he would come out here.”
Rodriguez said the family is hoping for the best, but said that optimism is dimming as time goes on.
“We hope for the good, that everything’s ok,” she said. “But our hope is lower and lower every time because now it’s dark. How [are] we going to find him?”