After stopping at a California rest stop to work on a school science project, a teen was discovered dead in a lonely place.
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office says 16-year-old Dante de la Torre, a student at Colfax High School, was reported missing on Wednesday after he left for a forested area near Interstate 80 and did not come back.
According to a statement from the police released on Thursday, “Dante traveled to the Gold Run rest stop area around 12:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon for a school project.” Since then, he hasn’t spoken to his friends or family.
He “had to acquire dirt for a science project,” a former acquaintance told CBS station KOVR.
The adolescent was said to have packed “water bottles, a hand towel or small shovel, and snow boots,” according to authorities.
Police released a second statement pleading with the public to refrain from participating in the search after learning that “several civilian search parties” were considering joining it.
The sheriff’s office then stated, “While we appreciate the offer to assist, this will only hamper our search.”
It is with a heavy heart we are updating the community that 16-year-old Dante Delatorre was found deceased this afternoon in a remote wooded area near the Gold Run Rest Stop. There is no indication Dante’s death was foul play. Full statement: https://t.co/wZxmEIIuXw #PCSO pic.twitter.com/lwfoPwGDUp
— Placer Sheriff (@PlacerSheriff) December 9, 2022
When the search was in progress, they stated, “We presently have over three dozen specially trained searchers and K9s who specialize in scent detection looking for Dante.” “If the public begins searching the area, there is a risk our K9s will lose Dante’s scent, hurting our hunt for him. We appreciate the patience of the community.”
Authorities announced the teen had been found deceased a few hours later.
The 16-year-old Dante de la Torre was discovered dead this afternoon in a secluded wooded area close to the Gold Run Rest Stop, they said in a statement. “It is with a heavy heart that we are alerting the community.
Police claimed there was no sign of foul play, however, they have not yet disclosed the cause of death; nonetheless, a coroner will examine his remains.
We extend our sympathies to the friends and family of Dante during this incredibly awful time, they continued.
A spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office described the rural area where the teen was located to CBS station KOVR.
The area is highly forested yet has variable terrain, including steep, difficult, and varied terrain, according to Angela Musallam.
According to The Sacramento Bee, the temperature there on Wednesday night was close to freezing.
The Placer Union High School District expressed on Thursday that it was “heartbroken” to hear of the loss of the 11th grader.
“Such tragedies are really challenging to process, especially when young kids are involved. On the campus of Colfax High School, chaplains and additional District Counseling personnel will be present to support our students and employees as they cope with this terrible news “According to a note that PEOPLE acquired from school administrators.
Please join us in remembering Dante’s family, friends, and the Colfax neighborhood in your thoughts during this trying time, they said.