TERRACE PARK, OH (FOX19) - Grief counselors are at Mariemont Schools Wednesday to help students mourn the loss of their classmate, Collin Barton.
Collin's body was discovered near the eastbound lane of Wooster Pike Tuesday afternoon, about a mile away from where he disappeared early Sunday morning.
Collin's father, Sean, issued the following statement on his Facebook page on Wednesday:
The Bartons would like to thank everyone for the tremendous outpouring of support during this very difficult time. Please know that in lieu of flowers, the Bartons know that Collin would prefer donations be made to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Any other memorials should be delivered to Mariemont High School. Please do not memorialize the site of the accident or send deliveries to the Barton's home.
Police say Collin, 16, was last seen alive in the Mariemont area of Cambridge Avenue around 4 a.m. Sunday morning.
According to police, witness reports stated the teen and his girlfriend had just broken up, which they believe prompted him to leave a party early and head back towards Terrace Park.
Police are saying that his body was apparently hit by a vehicle. That night, a man called reporting that he had struck a deer near the area that Barton, but police were unable to find evidence that anything had been struck.
"We have the automobile in our custody and we have the driver," says Capt. Walt Hendrick.
The car was towed from the Theilman Mobile Home Park in Milford along State Route 28.
Police have not released the driver's name and currently no charges have been filed.
The morning at Mariemont High School began with a student gathering to grieve together for Barton.
Principal Dr. Jim Renner led students and staff with a moment of silence to honor Barton's memory.
"Collin was a loyal friend, a great listener, and a talented artist. He was a wonderful son and a loving brother," stated Dr. Renner.
Immediately following the assembly, counselors were available to speak with students individually.
Counseling services and support will continue to be offered for students in the coming days and weeks.
Barton has two younger siblings, a freshman brother and a 7th grade sister.
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