Teens hid body of friend after accidental shooting, Florida cops say

Two teens are accused of improperly disposing of a body after the accidental shooting of an acquaintance, according to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.

The suspects, who are ages 15 and 16, were arrested Jan. 20, along with an adult who witnessed the incident, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

Investigators say the suspects are linked to the killing of Jontae Solomon Haywood, who was 15 according to his obituary.

He was reported missing Dec. 16 and a search led to his body later that day in Bushnell, 55 miles west of Orlando, officials said.

“Investigators were able to determine the persons responsible … were negligently handling a firearm in the presence of Jontae Haywood when the firearm discharged, killing him,” the sheriff’s office said.

“The individuals then moved the victim’s body and hid it to prevent discovery. The investigation also revealed an adult was present during the incident and did not make any attempt to intervene to prevent the death of Jontae Haywood.”

The teens have been “charged with aggravated manslaughter, improper disposal of human remains/biological material, possession of a firearm by a person under 18 years of age, and failure to report a death to the medical examiner,” officials said.

A 70-year-old man “was arrested and charged with one count of child neglect resulting in great bodily harm, three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, one count of possession of marijuana less than 20 grams, and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia,” officials said.

Jontae was an eighth-grader at Sumter P.R.E.P. Academy in Wildwood, and dreamed “of being a professional rapper,” according to an obituary in the Sumter Sun Times.

Investigators did not provide details about the gun or how the teens acquired it.

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