The search for a missing Indiana teen and his dog has come to a tragic end.
The bodies of Jacob Cole McCarty, 14, and his German Shepherd, Isabella, were found on Tuesday, September 28, in a wooded off area by Interstate 64 close to the Harrison County Hospital, Harrison County Sheriff Nick Smith wrote in a press release.
McCarty and his pet had been reported missing one week earlier.
The Harrison County Sheriff's Department located the boy after they received information from a resident who said they may have seen McCarty walking his dog along the interstate on September 21. Detectives also received security camera footage from a local business owner which showed what appeared to be a person walking along the interstate on the day McCarty vanished.
"Based on this information a search of this new area was conducted," the press release noted.
"Detectives and deputies from the Harrison County Sheriff's Department along with the Harrison County Coroner and Indiana State Police thoroughly processed and meticulously documented the scene," Smith wrote. "Detectives do not currently suspect foul play although Jacob's cause of death will be determined upon completion of an autopsy."
"We ask that each of you pray for Jacob's father and all those involved in his life. This is a devastating time and a hard road that follows for Jacob's loved ones," Smith concluded.
On Saturday, September 25, Smith and Jacob's father, Jeremiah McCarty, appeared in a Facebook video. Smith said the teen had an "online gaming presence" and that they suspected — based on the information collected throughout the investigation — that he "met someone online and had plans to meet them."
Smith asked residents with cameras outside their homes and businesses to check their footage and report to authorities if they saw anything regarding the disappearance.
"He's such a good boy. He's such a good kid," Jeremiah said in the clip.
Jeremiah previously told the Courier-Journal that he regularly spoke to his son about internet safety: "I tried to make sure that he knew he was playing with kids his age or close to it and that he was really careful about the things he said and what he mentioned."
Jeremiah alerted authorities on September 21 shortly after he returned home to his apartment. He initially assumed that his son was walking the dog but began to worry as it was raining and they were still not home. He said he noticed Jacob's backpack on the floor with its contents spilled out, which is unlike him, the Courier-Journal reported.