UPDATE: Authorities Identify Body Found in Hitchcock County, Family Responds
Authorities have identified the body of a young man found about four miles southwest of Palisade on Saturday, April 12.
Hitchcock County Sheriff D. Bryan Leggott said Wednesday the body was positively identified as 18-year-old Austin Wright following the preliminary autopsy report. Wright was reported missing by his family on March 9, according to authorities.
The sheriff's office says no further information will be released at this time, citing the ongoing investigation.
The family of Austin Wright is asking for privacy at this time but has issued a brief statement.
"Austin was a wonderful young man who will be missed greatly by friends and family. We want to thank everyone for your prayers and support during this difficult time," read the hand-written note from the family.
"He was a good kid," said Rick Gleason, of his nephew. "[He] had his whole life ahead of him. [I] have no idea when and where it went wrong."
Gleason said he wished he had known Wright better, but what he does know is positive.
"Austin was a polite young man," he said.
According to court records, Wright leaves behind at least one child.
He attended McCook Senior High more than two years ago, according to the superintendent. He said counselors were available at the school for students on Wednesday.