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Decapitated body found in Mass. identified as 16-year-old missing teen Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino

December 3, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Decapitated body found in Mass. identified as 16-year-old missing teen Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino

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A decapitated body discovered near a river in Massachusetts on Thursday has been identified as 16-year-old missing high school student Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino after authorities retrieved his head.

Family members are grieving the death of Viloria-Paulino, who was identified by the chief medical examiner on Friday after relatives reported him missing approximately two weeks ago.

On Thursday, a woman who was walking her dog along the shores of the Merrimack River contacted authorities at around 2:45 pm after she made the gruesome discovery, Masslive.com reported.

The teen was last seen alive on November 18th, and his loved ones frantically put up flyers and begged for his return on social media before his body was discovered, according to CBS News.

Arial videos showed two teams of investigators working in separate areas along the Merrimack River on Thursday and Viloria-Paulino’s family members were at the scene.

Law enforcement officials found the boy’s the head nearby, according to Carrie Monahan, the Essex district attorney’s office spokesperson.

As the investigation progresses, foul play is currently suspected.

Relatives feared for the worst and grieved their loss after the high school sophomore was identified on Friday.

Christine Michaud, the teenager’s aunt, told the Boston Herald earlier Friday: “I want people to know that he wasn’t just another (expletive) kid from Lawrence.”

Michaud also noted that he was a good student and loved poetry, adding that: “He was a good boy, he loved his family, he helped others whenever they needed it…He is loved by so many.”

The woman said that she and Viloria-Paulino had dinner together, and shared a laugh and a hug before they parted ways the day that he was last seen.

James Fitzpatrick, the Lawrence Police Chief, said the death of Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino was an isolated incident and that there is “no further threat” to the city.

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