Sheriff: Homicide ruled out in Whitehouse teen's death - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

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Sheriff: Homicide ruled out in Whitehouse teen's death

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Jacob Garrett (Source: Smith County Sheriff's Department) Jacob Garrett (Source: Smith County Sheriff's Department)
The body was found near a business on Highway 110. The body was found near a business on Highway 110.
SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Thursday, the Smith County Sheriff's Office received notification from the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas that dental records revealed that a body found on March 17 on Highway 110 between Whitehouse and Tyler is that of 14-year-old Jacob Hamilton Garrett of Whitehouse.

The family has been notified of the identification.

The autopsy revealed that no apparent foul play was involved, however toxicology and other test results are pending and could take several weeks to determine the cause of death.

At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith revealed that the body was found sitting upright and was located less than a mile from where the teen lived.

"It's an extreme possibility that the body has been at that location since February 13," said Smith.

Smith initially said the body, which was partially decomposed, was that of a white male.

Sheriff's officials say the body was found in a wooded area about 40 yards off the road just south of Loop 49 near Whitehouse next to Nipper's Quality Auto Works.

An employee from the auto shop was outside repairing the business's fence near the woods, when they saw the body and called authorities.

The family reported Garrett as a runaway on February 13 and the Sheriff’s Office utilized the media in an attempt to get the information out to the public. Garrett was a seventh grade student at Whitehouse Junior High. Whitehouse Independent School District released a statement Thursday regarding his death.

"Whitehouse ISD was saddened to learn of the death of Jacob Hamilton Garrett, a seventh grade student at Whitehouse Jr. High School. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family. Counseling services will be available for students and staff as needed."

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