Bisexual teen found dead in woods was allegedly killed by ex-boyfriend
A bisexual teenager has allegedly been killed by his ex-boyfriend.
Jeremy Sanchez, a high school football player from El Monte, California, was found dead on April 18.
After Sanchez’s father was told his son was not at school, he filed a missing person’s report and began to search for him along with two of Sanchez’s classmates from South El Monte High School.
One of the classmates was later identified as Sanchez’s ex-boyfriend.
Lieutenant John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told Mercury News that the 16-year-old ex found Sanchez’s body in a wooded area near a bike trail later on April 18.
Police arrested the unnamed teen on suspicion of murder April 19 after investigators reportedly found inconsistencies in his story.
Corina said that Sanchez had begun to date another person and wished to break up with the suspect.
“The suspect got upset with that,” Corina said.
Police are investigating whether Sanchez’s bisexuality was a factor in his death.
Police searched the home of Sanchez’s ex-boyfriend at the time of his arrest but were reportedly unable to find a murder weapon.
The 16-year-old was then taken to a local juvenile detention centre to await trial.
According to classmates, Sanchez had come out as bisexual on social media.
Although his school denied any knowledge that Sanchez was bullied, friends said the teen faced backlash after coming out from some students.
“Some people were giving him a hard time,” said Luis Polino, one of Sanchez’s classmates and fellow football players.
Sanchez had reportedly taken a break from football at the school, but had recently returned to the team.
Since his death tributes have flooded in for Sanchez, who has been described as a “loving young man who was outgoing and full of energy.”
The coach of the South El Monte High School football team posted an online tribute to the teen.
“I can’t believe one of my football players has passed away,” he wrote. “RIP Jeremy Sanchez. You will be missed.”
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Grief counsellors have reportedly been brought in to his school to support Sanchez’s classmates.
“There are understandably a lot of questions surrounding the death of our South El Monte High School student,” district superintendent Edward Zuniga told the Los Angeles Times.
“Right now, we are focused on supporting our students who are grieving, while also working closely with law enforcement in their investigation.”
A GoFundMe has been set up in Sanchez’s memory, which has raised over $21,000 in four days.