WHEATLAND, Pa. (WYTV) – Following a day-long search in and around the Shenango River, officials found the body of an 18-year-old believed to be one of three suspects involved in a police chase earlier this week.
Mercer County Coroner John Libonati confirmed the body was that of 18-year-old Isaac Green.
According to authorities, this all started Monday night when calls came in for shots being fired from a car, which was later determined to have been stolen in Farrell.
From there, a police chase involving several departments went through Farrell and into Wheatland, ultimately ending near the Kelly Pipe Company, where police say the suspects crashed, ran and jumped into the river.
Shortly after, Hermitage officers arrested 18-year-old Travis Brandt on the far side of the Shenango River. But police say the other two suspects — Green and another man — were nowhere to be found.
“It’s soul-crushing, to be honest,” said Dawon Miller, Green’s cousin.
When they heard about the crash Monday night, Green’s family was worried.
“Hurt. Crushed. He’s young. He just turned 18 January 10,” Miller said.
But that fear became overwhelming when Green never returned home or attempted to reach family members.
“He just had a baby and she’s 6 months. So what… is she going to grow up without a dad now? That’s a hurtful feeling,” Miller said.
Our reporters spoke with some of Green’s family as they started their own search Wednesday morning for the 18-year-old, who they say was quiet and funny.
“He liked to crack jokes but he was a good person. He did not run around getting in trouble. He hung around with people who got in trouble, the wrong crowd,” Miller said.
Before taking matters into their own hands, the family alleges they called authorities several times over the last three days, desperately looking for their loved one.
They worried for his safety, telling officials Green “didn’t know how to swim.”
“I wish there was a different outcome for this,” Miller said.
However, Mercer County District Attorney Peter Acker told us while on the scene that authorities never had any reason to believe the other two didn’t make it out of the water.
But after talking with Brandt and his attorney Wednesday morning, they believed there was a chance Green didn’t get out.
That’s when police joined the family’s search along the Shenango River, spotting Green’s body on the far side of the banks late Wednesday afternoon.
“To the community, I really want you guys to pray for my family right now in this time I need. We really need it,” Miller said.
According to Acker, charges haven’t been filed on the third suspect at this time. Police haven’t released that person’s name but say the search for him is now ramping up as he’s been seen in the area.
Officials are also looking to file charges on anyone who may be helping that suspect avoid police.
Libonati says an autopsy will be done in Erie County and more tests will need to be done to determine an official cause of death.