Jeremiah Oliver’s Father on Found Body: ‘I Feel It’s My Son’

04/18/2014 FITCHBURG, MA Supporters gathered near a makeshift memorial outside the former home of Jeremiah Oliver (cq) on Kimball Street (cq) in Fitchburg. Earlier today, a body believed to be that of Jeremiah Oliver was found near I-190 in Sterling. (Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)
Supporters gathered near a makeshift memorial outside the former home of Jeremiah Oliver on Kimball Street in Fitchburg.On Fridat, a body believed to be that of Jeremiah Oliver was found near I-190 in Sterling.
Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

The father of a missing 5-year-old Fitchburg boy has a feeling that a body found on the side of a Sterling highway is that of his son’s.

Jose Oliver, the father of Jeremiah Oliver, told NECN:

"I'm scared, frustrated, sad, and upset at the same time. I'm not sure if it's him, but the description that they say about him, I think it is him. In my heart, I feel that it is my son. I just can't believe it."

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An autopsy should reveal if the body found on the side of Interstate 190 on Friday morning is Jeremiah Oliver, the boy who has been missing since September. Authorities did not learn about the boy’s disappearance until December, which prompted criticism of the state agency overseeing the family’s well-being.

‘‘What we know right now is that a young child has died, and that his body has been disposed of in a heartless way,’’ said Gov. Deval Patrick, the Associated Press reported. “As we await news about the child’s identity, as Governor and as a parent, I feel a deep sadness.’’

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said officials can’t make a positive identification until the state medical examiner conducts the autopsy, but that the body matched the boy’s height and weight.

Early said the clothed body was found “about 40 feet off the roadway” and in a “wrapped condition” inside the packaging of a “suitcase-like object.”

When asked by a reporter, Early said it was likely a driver would have had to pull over to see the body, but declined to say how exactly officials were led to find the body in that particular location.

Oliver disappeared in September, but officials did not learn he was missing until Dec. 2 when his 7-year-old sister told school counselors she hadn’t seen her brother in weeks, according to the Boston Globe.

Three people charged with lying to investigators and a grand jury regarding Jeremiah Oliver’s whereabouts appeared in court on Tuesday, according to the Lowell Sun. Their next hearing is scheduled for June 5.

In addition, three state Department of Children and Families employees were fired stemming from the case, and Gov. Deval Patrick weighed in on the need for improvements at the agency.