Teen who helped find missing friend's body was the killer, police say

A California teen who led a search party to the body of his missing friend -- a local high school sports star -- was the one who stabbed him and dumped his body near a riverbed, police said Thursday.

Jeremy Sanchez, 17, was found dead Wednesday in bushes near a riverbed in South El Monte, about 13 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives said.

The 16-year-old suspect, who was not immediately identified, was part of a group that Sanchez’s father formed to search for the missing teen after he didn’t show up to school Wednesday.

This February 2016 photo provided by team wrestling coach Ray Castellanos, shows high school wrestler Jeremy Sanchez competing at the 113 lb. finals in the California Interscholastic Federation championship in Santa Ana, Calif.

This February 2016 photo provided by team wrestling coach Ray Castellanos, shows high school wrestler Jeremy Sanchez competing at the 113 lb. finals in the California Interscholastic Federation championship in Santa Ana, Calif. (Ray Castellanos via AP)

The suspect and another friend found Sanchez’s body later Wednesday afternoon.

"The person who killed him is the one who said, 'Look, there he is,'" sheriff's homicide Lt. John Corina said.

The suspect stabbed Sanchez multiple times and left his body in the wooded area, investigators said. Police still have yet to find a motive, but said the two were “very good friends.”

Friends of Sanchez told FOX11 Los Angeles that Sanchez was bisexual and that his ex-partner allegedly killed him.

It was disturbing and out of the ordinary for the suspect to be involved in the alleged murder of a close friend.

"The person who killed him is the one who said, 'Look, there he is.'"

— Lt. John Corina, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

"This person kills his friend and then acts like, 'Oh, I'll go out and try to find him,'" Corina said. "It is almost like he was trying to throw everyone off."

A raid on the suspect’s home yielded “very helpful” evidence in their investigation, Corina said. He didn’t elaborate on what evidence was discovered.

Wrestling coach Ray Castellanos, right, and assistant coach, Monique Cabrera, left, stand at the site where South El Monte High School student, Jeremy Sanchez, a 17-year-old was fatally stabbed by a teenage friend, in South El Monte, Calif.

Wrestling coach Ray Castellanos, right, and assistant coach, Monique Cabrera, left, stand at the site where South El Monte High School student, Jeremy Sanchez, a 17-year-old was fatally stabbed by a teenage friend, in South El Monte, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Sanchez was remembered as a star high school athlete who was on the El Monte Union High School football and wrestling teams. He was a popular student athlete and his death sent shockwaves throughout the school community.

"Jeremy was a very respectful kid, very outgoing, and always had a smile on his face," his wrestling coach Ray Castellanos said. "I'm devastated. It's not supposed to be this way."

Briana Amigon, one of Sanchez’s cousins, setup a GoFundMe page to support his family.

"We have no words to describe the grief that their family is experiencing right now," Amigon wrote on the page.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.