St. Johns County

St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office says body found is believed to be reported missing 13-year-old girl, community is grieving

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office confirmed it believes it found the body of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey. Police say the body was found in a wooded area; she was last seen in her neighborhood on early Sunday morning.

The community was searching for nearly eight hours on Sunday and gave its best effort. Action News Jax has been told by neighbors in this area that this is a close-knit and now grieving community.

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“I was heartbroken,” one teenager said to Action News Jax’s Ben Ryan with her mother’s permission. She spoke with us off-camera and said she was a friend of Bailey’s.

They practiced cheer in the same gym. The teen said she last spoke with Bailey last night.

“She’s really sweet. She’s a nice girl and funny,” she said.

At least 40 volunteers came out to help and show support, searching the area of Durbin Amenity Center and Veterans Park.

Fred Grande lives nearby as well.

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“You see it happen in other places, but it’s not close, so you don’t think about it the way you think about it when it’s this close,” Grande said.

He said as a father of two girls, he’s heartbroken. He wants the family to know the community is thinking of them.

“It’s horrible, I don’t even know what to think of it,” Grande said. “I got their back.”

Police said this is a complex investigation. and members of this community are hoping justice is served.