Florida 14-year-old killed in unsolved ‘deliberate act,’ police say

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The death of a 14-year-old teen in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida has been ruled a homicide though it remains unsolved, garnering the assistance of neighboring law enforcement agencies to assist in the search for clues.

Ryan Rogers reportedly left his family’s home for a bike ride on the evening of Nov. 15. His parents grew concerned when he did not return for several hours, so they filed a missing person report at 10:30 p.m. that night. Fellow residents joined the search for the missing teen the following morning, whereupon his body was discovered at around 9 a.m.

Police recovered the boy’s body and summarily ruled his death a homicide. Any suspected cause or method has not yet been disclosed.

(Photo: Palm Beach Gardens Police)

“We now know that Ryan Rogers’ death was not an accident, but a deliberate act,” the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department said in a statement issued a week after Ryan’s body was found. “The cause of death is not being disclosed at this time, however, Rogers’ death was not the result of a traffic-related collision.”

Police Major Paul Rogers told the Palm Beach Post on Saturday that authorities “can say with almost absolute certainty that this was not a hit-and-run incident.” An autopsy also confirmed that his death was not caused by a bicycle accident.

Police are asking anyone who “witnessed something out of the ordinary” in the area between 6:30 and 9 p.m. that evening to call them at 561-799-4445. Specifically, Ryan’s body was found on Central Boulevard, between PGA Boulevard and Donald Ross Road near the I-95 overpass in Palm Beach Gardens.

They added that anyone who encounters “suspicious persons” should call police and not confront them directly.

“There is someone in this community that has information that can assist us in identifying the person or people responsible, and bring answers to his family,” police said. “No amount of information is too small.”

As such, a few reports were made concerning repeated sightings of a man dressed in all black, wearing a ski mask and lurking around town, but an investigation ruled out any connection between the man and Ryan Rogers.

Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County is offering a reward of up to $8,000 for information that leads to a resolution in the case.

Rogers’ mother, Cindy, took to social media to keep the community apprised of the search for her son, as friends and parents in Northern Palm Beach County offered messages of hope and encouragement.

But sadly, on the morning of Tuesday the 16th, she posted, “SEARCH is off. I need space and time. Thank you to everyone.”

Rogers was a student at William T. Dwyer High School. Officials from the school released an announcement to students and faculty upon hearing the tragic news:

“It is with great sadness that I inform you that we have lost a student, and member of the Dwyer family in a tragic accident. Out of respect and privacy for the family, I am not sharing the student’s name at this time.”

“For all of you who did not know Ryan, he was a beautiful soul with nothing but love in his heart,” wrote Janine Ercolano, of Jupiter, FL, who posted on social media that she was a friend of the Rogers family.

Frank Webster

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