A body believed to be that of Jerell White, 22, was found Saturday in a pond near where he was last seen crossing a fence off Pleasant Road, according to Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.
“An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause and manner of White’s death,” the sheriff’s office report states.
Sheriff Barry Faile said autopsy results and State Law Enforcement Division forensics investigation will provide answers to the questions about White’s death and disappearance.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. White’s family and friends during this difficult time,” Faile said. “This is not the outcome any of us hoped for.”
The sheriff’s office began searching for White after he was last seen leaving a Fourth of July party about 1 a.m. Wednesday walking on Pleasant Road in the Primus community of Lancaster County.
“It’s tearing me up,” said White’s Aunt Dianne Ross at the scene Saturday. “I’ve been praying asking God, however you bring him back to us just let us find him.”
Search crews spent three days searching deeply wooded areas. Friend Tonya Ross said Saturday they’ve been preparing for the worst.
Deputies said there was a fight at the party and White left, according to WSOC-TV reports, a Herald affiliate.
White's cellphone was found on the ground where he scaled a fence and his broken eyeglasses were found in the driveway of the house that hosted the party, WSOC-TV reports.
Family members said White played football and ran track at Lancaster High School. He was active in his church playing a variety of instruments in a worship band and singing. He also liked to fish and hunt.
Autopsy is scheduled for Sunday, according to Lancaster County Coroner’s Office. No further details are available at this time.
Anyone with information should call the sheriff’s office at 803-283-3388 or Crime Stoppers at 888-274-6372.
Hannah Smoot: 803-329-4068