The body of an East Bay teen who had been missing since New Year’s Day was found Saturday afternoon next to Highway 4 in Concord, the Concord Police Department said in a statement.
The teenager, Damond Lazenby Jr., a 19-year-old, lived in Pittsburg, and his family reported him missing on January 1, as the Chronicle reported. According to the Mercury News, his family reported him missing after he called his mother to say he was upset about something and wanted to see her.
When police began to search for him, authorities reportedly found Lazenby’s green Volkswagen car abandoned later near the overpass on Port Chicago Highway with the lights on and engine still running on January 1, the Mercury News wrote.
A body was reportedly found on Saturday afternoon on an embankment near where his car was found on New Year’s Day, and his family confirmed that it body of the missing 19-year-old was Lazenby.
Concord: CHP investigating body found off Highway 4 https://t.co/Goxd0VSpg2— Mercury News (@mercnews) January 8, 2023
“On behalf of Damon Lazenby’s family, I want to thank you all for coming to help search for Damon, posting flyers, your kind words, your thoughts & prayers, and your support during this very difficult week. He has been found, unfortunately it’s not the outcome we were seeking,” read a Facebook post from his family, the Mercury News reported.
The cause of death has not been announced, and according to news reports, CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said an autopsy is pending.
Police say they are still investigating the circumstances of the death. Reportedly, the California Highway Patrol and Concord police department launched a multi-jurisdictional investigation.
Family members told the Mercury News that Lazenby’s body was found in an area that had been searched previously, and were about to search the area again Saturday.
KRON4 reported that the Lazenby’s family members told the outlet that the circumstances surrounding his body felt "suspicious," because his body had been found in clean, dry clothes despite the recent storms.
Damond Lazenby's family says it was "very suspicious" that his body was found outside in clothes that were clean and dry. Watch the interview with the family here: https://t.co/XAyDVQHMRZ— KRON4 News (@kron4news) January 8, 2023
📸: Courtesy of Concord Police Dept. & Lazenby family pic.twitter.com/S7pSj2wUuX
However, until they learn more, investigators can’t say whether foul play was involved in the tragic, untimely death.
Lazenby’s grandmother, Zelma Johnson, reportedly said that Lazenby was a happy, hardworking young man with his whole life ahead of him.
“He had a crazy sense of humor, he loved to play video games, and he was learning how to become a man,” Johnson told the Mercury News. “It’s hard to know why something like this would have happened. It’s just totally, totally out of his character.”
Image via Flickr/Alan Cleaver.