LAWRENCE (CBS) – A decapitated body was found near the Merrimack River in Lawrence Thursday afternoon.
Police say they were called to the riverbank near McCabe Court at about 2:45 p.m. after a woman walking her dog reported the discovery.READ MORE: Anyone Age 12 And Up Now Eligible For COVID Vaccines In Massachusetts
“We believe this is an isolated incident, and that the community is safe,” Lawrence Police Chief James X. Fitzpatrick said.
The body has not yet been identified. But, friends and family of Lee Manuel Paulino, 16, are afraid it is him. The teen disappeared in mid-November.READ MORE: It Happens Here: Former Kingston Oyster Farmer Pivots To Fashion With 'The Oyster Bag'
“Everything going through mind I am so scared, nervous, I can’t eat, I can’t focus,” said Carmin Checo, a family friend.
The family posted flyers and made pleas on Facebook for his return. A small crowd gathered near the crime scene. They hugged and cried.
His father said, “I am hoping for the best. I hope it’s not him.”MORE NEWS: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
WBZ-TV’s Katie Brace contributed to this report.