MILTON -- Milton police may have gotten a break in the case of the unidentified body that was dumped on a quiet street in that town earlier this week. Chief Richard Wells said today that police are investigating whether the body is that of a missing North Carolina teen.
Wells said the potential break came after the department received a call from out of state last night regarding the missing boy. "It came out of the blue," Wells said.
Deputy Chief Charles Paris said a Milton police detective and two Massachusetts State Police troopers were headed to Charlotte, N.C., to probe the case.
WBTV-TV, the CBS-TV affiliate in Charlotte, reported on its website earlier today that the missing teen's father had confirmed that his son's body was found in Milton. However, late this afternoon the television station posted an editor's note.
"A previous version of this story said that Tisdale was the dead body found by Milton police,'' the note reads. "That, however, has not been confirmed by sources. WBTV regrets the error.''
The clue that may link the body discovered Monday night and the missing teen was a note found on the body. The note bore a first name beginning with a "D." The rest of the first name was difficult to decipher, but the name appeared to be something like "Delvonte" or "Delconte." The last name appeared to be "Tisdale." The note appeared to be a school hall pass.
The name of the teenager missing in North Carolina is Delvonte Tisdale. His father reported he was last seen at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, according to a report released by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
However, Deputy Chief Charles Paris emphasized, "There is right now no confirmation that their missing person is our victim."
Cautioning people against leaping to conclusions, Paris said even if it is Delvonte Tisdale's note, it could be that someone else had Tisdale's note in his pocket.
"It could be somebody different until we scientifically prove it," he said.
Kathleen Johansen, spokeswoman for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, which includes North Mecklenburg High School in Huntsville, N.C., said Tisdale, 16, is a 10th-grader at the school who participates in ROTC.
It is his first year at the school; he had just moved into the district. She said she did not know where he attended school previously.
Tisdale's father had approached several school employees, included the ROTC instructor, over the course of a few days earlier this week to inform them Delvonte was missing and ask if they knew his whereabouts, Johansen said.
As of 3:30 p.m., the district had not been informed by police that the body in Milton was Delvonte's.
“We just don’t know. Nothing’s been confirmed with us. We’ll have to wait and see," she said.
The school system has several zones, each of which has its own superintendent. A woman in the Northeast Zone superintendent's office said that the lunch periods at North Mecklenburg High are labeled with the letters, A, B, C, and on -- bolstering the theory that the note was a hall pass allowing Tisdale to eat lunch during A period.
A Charlotte police spokesman didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.
Wells, the Milton chief, said police have interviewed a number of potential witnesses but would not comment further. He said the primary focus of the investigation remains identifying the victim.
Two vehicles have also been impounded as part of the investigation. Officials have said one had a Curry College sticker in the rear window. Curry is about a mile and a half away from where the body was found. A Curry spokeswoman referred all inquiries to police because of the ongoing investigation.
Residents of quiet, upscale Brierbrook Road were shocked Tuesday after learning that the body had been dumped there Monday night.
Milton police have described the body found found as a black male, possibly a teenager, about 5 feet 7, 120 pounds, with a slight build. The body was found only about 22 hours after the time Tisdale's father said he went missing.
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