CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A Chesterfield family is mourning the loss of a loved one. Police have confirmed us that the body found Wednesday in a swamp along Interstate 95 in Prince George County is that of Johnny O'Neal Smith-Brown, 28.
The family had printed up missing person flyers and has been looking for Smith since he disappeared nine days ago near I-95. They called off this Saturday's search for him after they tell us police believe the body found today is his.
"I'm very mad at him because I dropped him home at 10 and he left right back out at 10:30 to meet with a young lady and he didn't come home," said Johnny's sister, Joyce Stanford.
Stanford was upset because she believed she'd never see her brother alive again. He had been missing since September 28 and Wednesday after watching NBC12's report about a body found in Price George County she knew Johnny was dead.
"We knew that he was on the highway," said Stanford. "It was pouring rain that day. A friend had called us and told us she spoke with him that night at 11 o'clock. The phone kind of made a sound like a whoosh sound and after that she didn't hear from him anymore."
Wednesday afternoon a detective knocked on her door. Stanford tells us investigators were able to tentatively identify the body as Johnny's.
"From the tattoos that he had as well as them finding a GPS and his wallet," she said. "His wallet and his name was in it."
Johnny was last seen driving his green Crown Victoria which was found totaled off I-95 near where Wednesday's body was found. On his Facebook page friends have already began leaving their condolences.
"We knew that either he got hit while he was walking on the highway or something," said Stanford.
With her brother most likely gone, Joyce wishes she did the one thing that could have saved her brother's life.
"Took the keys. Took the keys..."
She believes his death was an accident. Police are calling it suspicious at this time.
We are still waiting for the official identification of the body from the medical examiner's office which could come as early as Thursday.