Los Angeles

Coroner to ID Body Found on Island in LA River During Search for Missing Boy

A body was found Saturday on an island in the Los Angeles River during the search for a boy reported missing one week ago. 

The discovery came during the search for 14-year-old Elias Rodriguez, reported missing Feb. 17. He had left a phone message for his mother saying he was walking home from school during one of the worst storms in years to hit Southern California. 

Distraught family members went to the location where the body was found.

The county coroner's office has not officially identified the body, which might have been swept away in a wash that feeds the LA River, according to authorities. The body was found at 1:15 p.m. Saturday on an island of the Los Angeles River near the Golden State Freeway near Los Feliz Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The Rodriguez family issued a statement Saturday saying they were awaiting "more information about the body found near the L.A. River" and asked for privacy.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a statement Sunday concerning the possible death of Rodriguez.

"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," Garcetti wrote. "Words cannot capture the agony that Elias' grieving family has felt since his disappearance. I've asked my crisis response team, who have been with the family, to do everything possible to help them through what is surely their worst nightmare."

Rodriguez was last seen leaving Cesar Chavez Learning Academies in San Fernando, according to the LAPD. He had borrowed someone's cellphone to call his mother at work to ask if she could pick him up but she missed the call, police said.

The river was raging at the time of Elias' disappearance. Search teams, including police and members of the FBI, have been looking in the area where Elias was last seen for about a week.

Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.

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