Teen at center of Amber Alert found dead in shallow grave, police say

1 person in custody, more arrests likely

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - An Orange County teen who prompted an Amber Alert when he vanished a week ago was found in a shallow grave Friday afternoon, according to the Winter Garden Police Department.

An Amber Alert was issued on May 31 for 16-year-old Bruce Hagans Jr. after witnesses told Winter Garden police that he had been abducted by a light-skinned black male with dreadlocks who was driving a dark gray Infiniti G37. The vehicle was later found in Sanford.

Police said shots were fired inside the vehicle and, right now, they are assuming the cause of death was due to the shooting but the medical examiner's officer will determine an official cause of death.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators and Winter Garden police officials began searching near a home on Robertson Street in Orlando before noon Friday, according to authorities.

Video from Sky 6 showed investigators placing evidence markers in a wooded area next to the home.

Around 1 p.m., Winter Garden police said that a body had been found in a shallow grave and an arrest had been made.

Chief of Police Steve Graham said Friday that Luis Rivera Sr. was arrested and charged with tampering with evidence.

Luis Rivera Sr.

The case is rapidly evolving and the chief said he is confident more charges will be filed against Rivera and more arrests will be coming.

Investigators have not positively identified the person seen driving away with Hagans the day the Amber Alert was issued.

"What happened to him, he didn't deserve," Hagans father, Bruce Hagans Sr., told News 6. 

The teen's father had a message for the people who he said claimed to be his son's friends but ultimately didn't help with the investigation.

"That was totally wrong, the way you treated Bruce," he said. "They're going down."

Family members said Hagans was an energetic teen who loved playing drums in his church's band.

"He was big and tall, but he was just like a child. He had a big heart of a 5-year-old. He was a goofy child," his aunt told News 6 on Monday. "It's been a sad time for us ever since."

Hagan's father said he was provided some closure knowing his son's body was found.

"I know there are a lot of young boys, men, who come up missing and were never found," Bruce Hagans Sr. said.

Check back for more updates on this developing story.

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