MARIEMONT, Ohio - Hundreds gathered together Tuesday night to mourn the loss of a missing teenage boy, whose body was found along Wooster Pike in Columbia Township earlier in the day.
Police identified the body of 16-year-old Collin Barton of Terrace Park around 3 p.m. Tuesday. He was last seen leaving a party early Sunday morning on Cambridge Avenue in Madison Place between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. Barton reportedly told friends he was going to walk several miles to his residence on Home Street in Terrace Park.
Classmates, friends, faculty and neighbors held memorial services at Mariemont High School Tuesday night. Media was not allowed inside the school, but students leaving the school said people shared fond stories of the well-liked Mariemont student.
Those stories were similar to the memories Milford High School student Sarah Fuhrman also has of Barton, who knew the teen from playing youth hockey.
"I've been telling everybody this…that he was the kind of kid that you could go to and talk to about someone missing. He was the go-to guy. You could talk to him about anything," said Fuhrman.
She said she felt compelled to visit the site where Barton's body was found because he was one of her best friends.
"Me and my mom found it through Facebook and we decided to come and see if it was true. And it is," said Fuhrman.
The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office says it believes Barton was struck by a car on his way home Sunday morning.
A 23-year-old Milford man contacted police Sunday to report that he thought he hit a deer on his drive home from work earlier in the morning.
"He reported to the Milford PD that he believes he struck a deer. But the information obtained from that point is questionable whether it was actually a deer or whether it was a person," said Captain Walt Hendrick of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.
Officers responded to the scene but were unable to locate anything. The driver went back to police on Tuesday once again asking officers to search the area. The Terrace Park life squad was then dispatched to the scene. At around 3 p.m., life squad members located the body of Barton about 15 feet off the roadway, down an embankment.
It's expected the Hamilton County Coroner's Office will do an autopsy on Barton as early as Wednesday. After the coroner makes her findings, Barton's family will schedule funeral services.
The Bartons issued a statement Tuesday, saying they don't know how to express their gratitude for all the love everyone has expressed for their child and family.
Stay with 9 News and WCPO.com as more information becomes available.