Mon. May 20th, 2024

A missing Florida teenager has been found dead in a homicide investigation, authorities said.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said 15-year-old Jontae Haywood was found dead shortly hours after being reported missing at 1:20 a.m. Friday.

Jontae is a former student at Sumter Prep Academy and was last seen alive at 11:30 p.m. Thursday, deputies said in a Facebook post.

During the missing person investigation, information was received that Jontae may have suffered a gunshot wound. Several members of the Sheriff’s Office converged on the area and began searching the last known location of Jontae. Shortly thereafter Jontae’s body was discovered.

The sheriff’s office said it is investigating Jontae’s death as a homicide, and it is believed to be an isolated incident.

No further information will be released at this time.

Family members created a GoFundMe account to assist with funeral and burial expenses. You can donate here.

According to a Facebook post, family and friends will be having a balloon release on Thursday December 22, 2022 at Dr Martin Luther King Park in Bushnell for Jontae. They asked for everyone bring orange balloons for gun violence awareness orr blue balloons for his favorite color. Everyone is invited to come out and remember Jontae.

If you have any information about this investigation, please contact The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office at 352-793-2621. To remain anonymous, you can call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born |