Jonathon Minard went missing on April 13 while visiting a farm in New Harrisburg where he helped milk cows at a farm owned by the father of a 29-year-old friend.
That friend was named by Carroll County Sheriff Dale Williams prior to the discovery of the body as a person of interest but the man has not been arrested.
Williams told reporters in a press conference on Friday that the discovery of the body is the first step in the investigation and that officials will evaluate all the evidence and decide on criminal charges based on the evidence, reported Fox 8.
Williams declined to answer when asked if the friend remains a person of interest and said no additional information would be made available, saying officials “will not compromise the investigation.”
“I’m not gonna comment on anything to jeopardize this investigation.” The Carroll County sheriff staying tight-lipped about the death of 14-year-old Jonathon Minard, whose body was found in a shallow grave on a farm. pic.twitter.com/mS3hv2MbiM
— matt demczyk (@mdemczyk) April 19, 2019
Area residents said they were heartbroken at hearing the news of the body being found.
“We were hoping he ran away or something; that’s what we were hoping for but that wasn’t the case,” Carroll County resident Bill Burrier told Fox 8. “Just the nicest little kid, and he’d sit there and fish with me. I don’t see how anybody could do that to a 14-year-old.”
“It’s just devastating, a small boy like that, you know, heart-wrenching for his family, I’m sure for his parent and anybody that knew him,” added Carrollton resident Mary Johnson.
Shanta Teeters of Carroll County said that she’d always remember Jonathon as a fun-loving kid who was often out and about in her aunt’s neighborhood.
— Missing Pieces Network (@Network4Missing) April 18, 2019
“I can’t imagine what his mom is going through,” Teeters told WOIO. “He was always walking around Delroy, just out in the summertime and stuff. Just like an everyday kid would be.”
Teeters said her uncle was part of the search party that was looking for the boy. All the volunteers are upset about the body being discovered, she added.
“Everybody’s in shock, I think everybody is saddened, we feel for the family and we just want to see the person who did it pay for it,” added county resident Terry Cheuvron.
EMOTIONAL VIDEO: In an exclusive interview with @wkyc, the aunt of Jonathan Minard, the missing Carroll County 14-year-old, pleads for the safe return of her nephew who has not been seen since Saturday. pic.twitter.com/vglg1lLxft
— Jordan Miller (@J_MillerTV) April 16, 2019
Officials said previously that Jonathon helped with milking at the farm near New Harrisburg on April 12 and went home after 3 p.m. He returned to the farm after 1:30 p.m. the next day.
According to people on the farm, the boy complained about a toothache and said that he was going to call his mother to pick him up and take him home.
That was the last time he was seen.
“His mom never received that call,” Williams, the sheriff, told WKYC.
Search parties scoured a perimeter area around New Harrisburg with special attention paid to the area around Baxters Ridge Church in Harrison Township.
The body was eventually found in Washington Township about 7 miles from where he was last seen.
The boy’s body was taken to the medical examiner’s office in Cuyahoga County for an autopsy.