Placer teen found dead after going missing near rest stop along I-80; foul play not suspected

Placer County Sheriff's Office

The 16-year-old boy who was reported missing after traveling to an Interstate 80 rest stop in Placer County was found dead.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office said that the body of Dante De La Torre of Colfax was found in “a remote wooded area near the Gold Run rest stop” Thursday afternoon.

“There is no indication Dante’s death was foul play,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a 7 p.m. Thursday statement, confirming the death. Authorities did not give further details about the discovery or how De La Torre had died. Overnight temperatures in the area were near freezing.

Authorities had frantically sought De La Torre after he was reported missing Wednesday, hours after not returning from the trip, which was for a school project.

De La Torre had left for the rest stop on I-80, located about 10 miles north of Colfax, around 12:30 p.m. and had “packed water bottles, a hand towel or small shovel, and snow boots,” the Sheriff’s Office said Thursday morning.

“He has had no contact with friends or family since then,” deputies said in announcing the search earlier Thursday. “We have deployed multiple resources to assist in the search for Dante.”

The Sheriff’s Office, in a later post, discouraged civilian search parties from joining in the effort.

“We currently have over three dozen specially trained searchers and K-9s who specialize in scent detection looking for Dante,” authorities wrote shortly before noon. “If the public begins searching the area, there is a likelihood our K-9s will lose Dante’s scent, impacting our search for him.”

Authorities said that De La Torre’s body would be taken to the Coroner’s Office for further examination.

“We offer our condolences to the Delatorre family and Dante’s friends during this unbelievably tragic time.”

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The Bee’s Daniel Hunt contributed to this story.