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Damond Lazenby Jr.(Zelma Johnson/Facebook)
Damond Lazenby Jr.(Zelma Johnson/Facebook)

CONCORD — The heartbroken family of Damond Lazenby Jr. has confirmed that the body of the missing 19-year-old was found Saturday afternoon on an embankment off Highway 4, near where his car was found on New Year’s Day.

“On behalf of Damond Lazenby’s family, I want to thank you all for coming to help search for Damond, posting flyers, your kind words, your thoughts & prayers, and your support during this very difficult week. He has been found, unfortunately it’s not the outcome we were seeking,” said a message from the Pittsburg teen’s family, which was posted on Facebook.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the circumstances of Lazenby’s death and how his body ended up on the embankment, near the Port Chicago Highway. The case also was being investigated by the Concord police department, which had launched a massive, multi-jurisdictional search after his family reported him missing Jan 1. Early that morning, his green Volkswagen also was found near the overpass on Port Chicago Highway, with the engine running and the lights on, reports say.

CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said an autopsy is pending. Until they learn more about the cause of death, investigators can’t say whether foul play was involved.

Lazenby’s grandmother, Zelma Johnson, told this news organization that Lazenby’s body was found in an area that had been searched previously. Barclay also said that the area wasn’t visible to passing motorists.

Johnson said the family was gearing up to search the area again Saturday, when the CHP received a report just after 2 p.m, that a body had been found in the area. The CHP response and crime-scene investigation prompted the temporary closure of the eastbound lanes of Highway 4.

Johnson, of Pleasant Hill, said her grandson’s family and friends are devastated that his life ended in such a way. She said her grandson was a cheerful, energetic, hardworking young man who had begun to work in his father’s trucking service business after his graduation from Pittsburg High School.

“He had a crazy sense of humor, he loved to play video games, and he was learning how to become a man,” Johnson said. “It’s hard to know why something like this would have happened. It’s just totally, totally out of his character.”

But Johnson said the family knew he was upset about something just before he went missing in the early morning hours of Jan. 1.

Lazenby’s mother, Tanita Lazenby, told KTVU that she received a phone call from her son about 4 a.m. He told her he was driving from their family home in Pittsburg and wanted to meet in Oakland where she was staying.

“He sounded really upset,” Tanita Lazenby told KTVU. “I told him, ‘Don’t drive. You’re too upset to drive.’”

Her son did not say what was upsetting him, but they agreed that she would drive to Pittsburg to talk to him at home.

This story is developing. 

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