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Missing Ind. Boy, 14, Found Dead Alongside His Dog a Week After Disappearance: 'Devastating'

·2 min read
jacob mccarty
jacob mccarty

Harrison County Sheriff's Department/Facebook Jacob Cole McCarty and his dog, Isabella

The body of Jacob Cole McCarty — the 14-year-old boy from Corydon, Indiana, who went missing while out walking his dog — has been located by authorities a week after his disappearance.

Jacob's body was found alongside remains belonging to his pet German Shepherd, Isabella, on Tuesday in a wooded area off Interstate 64 near the Harrison County Hospital, according to Harrison County Sheriff Nick Smith.

Smith said in a press release obtained by PEOPLE that law enforcement officials searched the area after receiving a tip from someone who read about Jacob's disappearance and reported to detectives that they saw the teenager and his dog near the Interstate on Sept. 21, the day he went missing.

Investigators also received surveillance footage displaying someone who appeared to be Jacob walking along the Interstate that same day, according to Smith.

RELATED: Ind. Father Pleads for Help Finding Son, 14, Who Went Missing While Walking His Dog in the Woods

"Detectives do not currently suspect foul play although Jacob's cause of death will be determined upon completion of an autopsy," Smith said in a statement.

"We ask that each of you pray for Jacob's father and all those involved in his life," he added. "This is a devastating time and a hard road that follows for Jacob's loved ones."

Jacob was last seen at his home around 11:15 a.m. on Sept. 21, according to a previous missing persons alert from the Harrison County Sheriff's Department.

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In a video shared to the department's Facebook on Saturday, Smith said authorities believe Jacob went missing while taking his dog for a walk. He also noted at the time that Jacob had "an online gaming presence" and officials suspect that the teenager "had met someone online and had plans to meet them."

Jacob's father, Jeremiah McCarty, previously said in an interview with the Courier-Journal that he's had conversations with his son about internet safety.

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"We talked about that kind of stuff all of the time," Jeremiah said. "I tried to make sure that he knew he was playing with kids his age or close to it and that he was really careful about the things he said and what he mentioned."

Smith did not say on Tuesday if investigators still believe if Jacob was meeting someone when he went missing.

A spokesperson for the Harrison County Sheriff's Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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