STREET. JOHNS, Fla. “The search for a 13-year-old girl was last done early Sunday morning in Durbin Crossing, 16 hours later when researchers found a corpse believed to be a missing teenager.
St. Johns County Sheriff Robert Hardwick announced the announcement before 8 p.m. – about an hour after a deputy told News4Jax and dozens of community volunteers who showed up finding Tristyn Bailey that the search had been interrupted.
“This wasn’t what the St. Johns County sheriff’s office or this community (wanted) wanted,” Hardwick said. “This is a mourning community and we will respect our mourning community.
The sheriff’s office would not tell you where the body was found or if someone was in custody about his death, but just talk to a lot of people to gather information.
“This is an early stage of a very, very complex investigation,” Hardwick said.
Anyone who has seen Tristyn between midnight and early Sunday night, please call the Sheriff’s Office at 904-824-8304 or call 911. Tips can also be emailed to [email protected]
Later, on Sunday night, the sheriff’s office released an update stating the body had been found in the “immediate area” and “We don’t believe there is a threat right now and the community can stop further search efforts.”
According to a crime and security expert from News4Jax, the Durban Service Center – the last place they were seen alive – is now being treated as a crime.
Tristyn’s disappearance was reported by the family on Sunday morning after he was last seen around 1:15 a.m. in one of the amenities in the Durbin Crossing neighborhood, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.
On Sunday afternoon, the Sheriff’s Office’s Unified Command Center and a crime scene unit stood in nearby Veterans Park. Dozens of neighbors and volunteers were also in the park to help locate the teenager.
Around 4:50 p.m., the FDLE issued a missing child alert for Tristyn. About an hour later, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office told News4Jax they had just sent an “Alert St. Johns” to the area and asked the community for help and to ask their children if they knew anything.
Tristyn’s father posted a message on Facebook saying, “We can’t thank everyone enough for trying to help find our daughter.”
The teenage school, Patriot Oaks Academy, sent a message to his families saying the seventh-grader was missing and asked people to contact law enforcement with all the information.
“Please pray on behalf of your family,” the message reads.
There will be mourning counselors at the school on Monday morning.
Tristyn was in a cheerful squad at school. Her coach described her as a loving young lady and a natural leader.
“He’s just the happiest, most enthusiastic friendliest person,” Courtney Sparks said. “(He) is essentially doing everything he can to make the team unite. Whatever it takes for the team to get to the next level, he’s the one who likes it to help push the team forward.
A friend who said she spoke on SnapChat on SnapChat on Saturday night described her as “a really nice, kind girl”.
News4Jax reports that there will be a candlelit vigil for Tristyn at the Durbin Service Center at 8:30 pm on Monday.
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