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The body of a missing teen from Michigan was found beneath the ice of a nearby river on Tuesday evening, bringing a sad close to the situation feared by authorities and the young girl's parents.
Kaley Brooks, 19, was reported missing on Saturday and was believed to be the victim of foul play from the very beginning. Her ex-boyfriend, Nicholas Jackson, 18, shot himself to death on Sunday, one day after Brooks disappeared. Police knew that the couple had had a tumultuous relationship that included domestic violence, and Jackson is the lead suspect in Brooks' death, but police are still investigating.
Jackson was arrested in October for aggravated assault against Brooks and was scheduled to be sentenced to jail time on Monday. He was also ordered to stay away from Brooks, but the two were seen leaving McDonald's together on Saturday.
"I can't give up hope," Curt Gibson, Kaley's father, told MLive shortly before her body was found. "She had goals. She had her life planned out. She wanted to be somebody."
"She is just so loving and caring and sensitive to everyone's needs," Brooks' mother added.
The family decided to put Christmas on hold until Brooks was found, but would give their 13-year-old son his presents on Christmas morning. They had hope that Brooks would be found alive and well, possibly in time for the holidays.
"We are hoping. We are praying," Heather Brooks, Kaley's mother, told MLive. "At the end of the day, our daughter is still not home."
Unfortunately, Brooks' body was found stabbed multiple times and beneath the ice of the Grand River. Public Safety Department Director Mike Jester could not confirm whether the stab wounds were the cause of death and told reporters that he would wait for the complete autopsy before confirming anything.
He added that finding Brooks in this manner is extremely upsetting, "especially around Christmas time."