‘My Heart Hurts': Family, Students Grieve Loss of 2 Teens Pulled From LA River

"I just want to see him one more time," one of the boys' sisters said.

The sister of one of the boys recovered from the Los Angeles River near Cypress Park wept as she demanded answers Monday.

"I just want to know what happened or why they did this," Griselda Ramirez, Gustavo's sister, said through sobs. "I just want to see him one more time."

Search teams found the bodies of Gustavo Ramirez, 15, and Carlos Jovel, 16, Sunday, two days after their families reported them missing. The bodies were positively identified by Los Angeles Coroner's officials early Monday morning.

"My heart hurts," said Pedro Zeballos, a friend of one of the victims. "It's gonna be weird without him. I talked to him everyday."

Students at Sonia Sotomayor Learning Academies returned to school Monday with heavy hearts after learning that two bodies recovered were those of their classmates.

The teenagers disappeared after school on Friday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Police first received a call about two kids in the LA River about 5 p.m. that day. They searched the river but found nothing. The teens' family reported them missing later that night.

Police searched in other areas, but didn't search the LA River because their families didn't know that's where they had gone.

Police weren't sure if the missing child reports were connected to the LA River until new information became available.

On Sunday morning, an anonymous tip to police linked the disappearance and the call on Friday, and rescue dive teams immediately went to the water.

The bodies of Jovel and Ramirez were recovered Sunday evening in an area of the LA River that was about 12-feet deep, LAPD said.


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On Monday, students at Sotomayor Learning Academies wore white to honor the memory of their classmates.

"It's like they were my family too," Jose Ramirez, victim's friend, said. "I've known them since last year, and everyday I would see them like my normal family."

Valerie Hernandez said she felt sad for both of the teens. "They were young and had a lot to live for."

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Michelle King said in a statement that the entire LAUSD family was deeply saddened by the accident.

"On behalf of the District, I express my deepest condolences to the boys' families and friends and to the Sotomayor Learning Academies community. Their deaths are a loss for the entire L.A. Unified School District," she said.

Crisis counselors were on hand at the campus Monday to provide support to students and staff, King said.

"It's really hard. I cried a lot," Alex Montano said before breaking down in tears.

The results from the LA County Coroner were pending, but could be available as early as Tuesday.

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