Missing Sumter teen found dead in apparent homicide, deputies say

Jontae Haywood, 15, initially reported missing Friday morning

SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. – A Sumter County teen reported missing on Friday was found dead later that day in an apparent homicide, the sheriff’s office said in an update on Facebook.

According to deputies, 15-year-old Jontae Haywood was initially reported missing around 1:20 a.m. Friday in Bushnell and was last seen around 11:30 a.m. the day prior.

[TRENDING: Christmas miracle? Arctic blast could bring below freezing temperatures to Central Florida | ‘This is crazy:’ 13 strangers take road trip after flight is canceled in Orlando | Become a News 6 Insider]

During the missing person investigation, deputies said they learned Haywood may have suffered a gunshot wound and converged on the area he was last seen. Shortly after, Haywood’s body was found, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies said his death is being investigated as a homicide and this is an isolated incident posing no threat to the public.

Haywood was a former student at Sumter P.R.E.P Academy in Wildwood, deputies added.

A spokesperson with Sumter District Schools said it is saddened by Haywood’s loss and there will be counseling services available at the school.

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office at 352-793-2621 or leave an anonymous tip with Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

No other information is available at this time. Check back here for updates.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.