missing person

West Hartford Teen That Went Missing in West Virginia is Dead: Investigators

Johnathan Benjamin-Adams, 14, was last seen on Saturday, July 11 in Augusta, West Virginia.

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Investigators said a West Hartford boy that disappeared in West Virginia has died.

Johnathan Benjamin-Adams, 14, was last seen on July 11. Investigators said they found a set of human remains in a shallow grave which they believe to be Adams'. The remains were found in a wooded area next to where Adams was reported missing.

A 16-year-old relative has been arrested and charged with burglary, according to police.

Police said the area of the recovery was very hard to access because of heavy underbrush.

Investigators say they are awaiting an autopsy report at the WV Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Charleston.

Investigators have developed a suspect, they said. The investigation is still ongoing.

“Within my heart, the second day of his disappearance I knew he was no longer with us. I think God prepared me somehow. I am a very weak person. But I was surprised. I did cry immediately. But it wasn’t crazy. It wasn’t uncontrollable," said his dad, Angel Jaquez.

“To hold onto the great moments we had with Johnny, you know. For me, that’s what is going to carry me for the rest of my life those great moments with him," Jaquez continued.

The school district Adams attended released a statement after learning of his death.

"The entire West Hartford Public Schools family is devastated by the loss of one of our children. Everyone who had the good fortune to know Johnny at King Philip will miss him dearly," Superintendent Tom Moore said.

When COVID-19 hit and Adams' school was shut down, he headed more than 400 miles away to the family farm in West Virginia where the virus was less prevalent and he could hang out with cousins while finishing school online. His family thought he’d be safer there.

He was set to come back this weekend but then the phone rang Sunday morning.

“They couldn’t find Johnny, and he’s been missing since,” said Jaquez.

Jaquez says family reported seeing him head to bed late Saturday night but that the next morning his PJs were folded on his made bed and he was gone from the Augusta home.

“His personality is not such that he would get out of the house in the dark. He would not run away,” said Jaquez.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Johnny’s family and loved ones during this difficult time," Lt. Jamie E. Carter of the Hampshire County Sheriff's Office said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office at 304-822-3894. Anonymous tips can be left on their website.

“He was a wonderful, happy, person, you know. With a contagious smile," Jaquez said.

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