Whitehouse teacher speaks on the loss of Jacob Garrett

Smith County Sheriff's Office
News

POSTED: Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 8:22pm

UPDATED: Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 9:53pm

The Smith County Sheriff's Office identified the body discovered in Whitehouse earlier this week. Dental records have confirmed the remains belong to 14-year-old Jacob Hamilton Garrett of Whitehouse. His body was found in a wooded area behind the fence of an auto body shop off Highway 110. Jacob went missing on February 13th and was reported as a runaway. As of now, no foul play is suspected in his death, but authorities are still waiting for the results of additional tests.

It's tragic news to this small East Texas community. An employee at a local body shop in Whitehouse, found Jacob's body in the woods, leaned up against a tree. It was only a mile away from his house. For those who knew him best, it was news, they didn't want to hear. "As a campus we were all shocked, of course his family was shocked as well, it didn't seem like something that was characteristic of Jacob," said Randi Dunn, Jacob's former English teacher.

She said it has been difficult for everyone since he went missing because there has been "so many unanswered questions, the lack of Jacob being at school, and the lack of answers." Those answers, coming from Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith, left many in disbelief. "Even until this morning students were hopeful he was going to reappear," said Dunn.

Jacob was a seventh grader at Whitehouse Junior High that "loved his friends deeply" and "was also very giving." Dunn said he was an exceptional writer, and wanted to be a professional musician some day. She said it's hard to believe he won't be back to her first period class again, and "he had a lot to offer and his life was too short."

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