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East Peoria Boy Finds Body Near Plaza

East Peoria police say a 12-year-old boy who was searching for a missing relative has instead discovered the decomposing body of an unidentified person.

According to reports, Preston Jefford of Washburn found the remains Wednesday in a patch of trees near a shopping plaza. The Tazewell County Coroner's Office hadn't identified the body or its gender Wednesday afternoon.

An autopsy on the body is scheduled for Thursday. Illinois State Police and local authorities are investigating.

Jefford and his mother were part of a search party for their cousin who is schizophrenic and was missing for several days. The county sheriff's office says the cousin was found Wednesday night.

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