Body found in shallow grave in Lewis County may be that of missing 16-year-old boy

CHEHALIS, Wash. -- A body that could possibly be that of a missing 16-year-old boy has been found in a shallow grave on the property belonging to a relative of the boy's friend, the Lewis County Sheriff's Office said.

The 16-year-old boy, who lived with his father in Randle, was last seen on June 23, the sheriff's office said. After his family and friends searched but could not locate him, the boy was reported as a runaway or possible missing person on Wednesday, June 27.

The sheriff's office did not release the name of the missing boy.

But the sheriff's office said information relayed to deputies was that the 16-year-old "had last been in contact with a same-aged male friend who lives nearby, the two of which had been friends for years."

Deputies interviewed the friend Thursday "and he relayed that he had not seen the missing 16 year old in several days."

The investigation led detectives to search a remote property belonging to the friend's relative, "where deputies received information of a possible shallow grave. Initially deputies were advised the gravesite was for a dog that had recently died. "

But deputies instead found in the grave the body of an unidentified person.

"It is unknown at this time if the discovery of this gravesite and body are connected to the missing juvenile," the sheriff's office said, adding that the person would be identified by the medical examiner's office.

Meanwhile, the sheriff's office is trying to locate the missing boy's friend, who has been identified as Benito Marquez and who goes by the name Benny, and Benny's brother, Jonathan Adamson, 21.

Anyone with information regarding the missing 16-year-old or the other two individuals are urged to contact the sheriff's office at (360) 748-9286.