Los Angeles Fire Department

Bodies Pulled From LA River Identified as 2 Missing Teens

Two bodies recovered from the Los Angeles River are that of two teenage boys reported missing Friday night, coroner's officials confirmed Monday. 

Police and firefighters found two bodies matching the description of Gustavo Ramirez, 15, and Carlos Jovel, 16, Sunday after family reported them missing. The bodies were positively identified by the Los Angeles Coroner's Office early Monday morning. 

It was the news that the families of two missing teen boys hoped and prayed they would not hear.

The families had been distributing fliers in search of the boys since they disappeared Friday afternoon.

Both boys were students at Sotomayor Learning Academy. 

Police and firefighters launched a search to find the teens after receiving a call about two boys in the LA River about 5 p.m. Sunday.

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


Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.

Group of hikers rescued after being too close to ongoing Fork Fire

Watch: Will Smith wins it for Dodgers in wild walk-off victory over Red Sox 7-6 in 11 innings

An anonymous call linked the disappearance and the call on Friday, and rescue dive teams immediately went to the water.

LAPD media relations posted on social media that crews were searching the water at 6 p.m. Sunday.

The first body was recovered at 7 p.m. and the second just 30 minutes later.

A member of the city’s crisis team gave the news to the families standing on the riverbank.

On Friday, four teens were hanging out at the LA River in Cypress Park near San Fernando Road and Granada Street.

One of the boys fell into the water, and another jumped in after him to try and help. 

"We don’t have a necessarily strong current here but it doesn’t mean there wasn’t something moving on that day," Meghan Aguilar with the LAPD said.

The LA River is usually shallow however, in the area near Glassell Park, the water reaches 12 feet in depth.

The LA River tends to swell around times of heavy downpour, like in the case of three people and dog becoming trapped in a tree in September.

Grief counselors were to be on hand Monday morning at Sotomayor Learning Academy, LAUSD Monica Corazo said.

John Cádiz Klemack contributed to this report.

Contact Us