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'He Was So Accepting And Loving': Investigation Underway After Florida Teen Is Shot, Body Is Burned

Neel E. Curiel's family is struggling to cope with the loss of the "loving" teenager.

By Gina Tron

Investigators in Florida are seeking the killer or killers of a teenager who was shot before his body was burned.

The body of Neel E. Curiel, 18, was discovered on Saturday, the Miami-Dade Police Department has announced. While Curiel’s body was found near a canal, his blue Honda was located two days later in a nearby location, WFOR-TV in Miami reports. Police told the outlet that he was shot before being burned.

While the Miami-Dade Police Department couldn’t confirm to Oxygen.com on Friday if he was burned before or after he died, they did say his death was being investigated as a homicide. Police are still awaiting the findings of a medical examiner report for more details, they noted.

Police said they are not yet sure how many culprits they are seeking.

“At this time our detectives are following every possible lead,” the public information officer said. “We are not sure how many subjects there are at this time.”

For now, the perpetrator or perpetrators behind his brutal death remains a mystery. Meanwhile, Curiel's family is struggling to cope with the loss.

Neel Curiel Pd

"He was just a boy. He was only 18 years old, but he was just a boy," Yamiley Martinez, Curiel's aunt, told WTVJ.

She told WPLG in Miami that, “they took him away before we even saw him become a man.”

Jessica Ortiz, Curiel’s cousin, told WTVJ that the slain teen had a “good heart.”

“He was so accepting and loving,” she said.

Curiel’s grandfather, Ricardo Curiel, told WFOR that his entire family is grieving.

“It’s not just me — his grandmother, his mother, his aunts, and uncles, and siblings were all going through terrible pain,” he said. 

Anyone with information about the teenager’s death is urged to call Miami-Dade CrimeStoppers at 305-471-TIPS. A $10,000 reward is available for any information leading to an arrest.

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