YOUNGSVILLE, La. (KLFY) — A body found in New Iberia early Friday has been identified by the Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office as 18-year-old Javion Batiste.

Batiste’s mother, Nichole Jagneaux gave a statement about her son’s passing on Facebook. She thanked the community for helping her family search for Javion.

“You guys were on it just as much as us. The thousands of messages I received to help search, give water, find information, give prayers. You don’t know how that pushed me. I am forever indebted to you for that,” wrote Jagneaux.

When Batiste’s family was notified of the body found in New Iberia, they immediately rushed to find answers about their missing loved one.

Throughout this week, the family of the missing Youngsville teen had been diligently searching the area where Javion’s car was located. When a body was found in the same area, the family grew suspicious.

“Who does something like this? Knowing because we went through all the fields. There is no way we would not have seen it. We would have been able to see the body and we would have smelled it. There’s no way,” said one of Javion’s cousins.

“I really wanted him found alive, but unfortunately with all the days that had went by, I already prepared myself for the worst. But, I mean, it is hard because I wait for my nephew to come home every single day,” said Delondrea Batiste, Javion’s aunt.

Javion had been missing since July 15.

On July 17, Batiste’s car, a 2000 Buick Regal, was found abandoned in New Iberia near Cobb Street and St. Jude Avenue. That is where his family said his last known phone ping was located. It is also where the family has continuously searched for their missing loved one.

The family said it was out of the ordinary for Javion to travel to New Iberia. When his car was found, the family reported finding strange items inside, though they did not disclose what those items were.

Javion’s aunt, Lonnie Batiste, has a strong message for anybody that may be involved in his disappearance:

“I know it is eating you alive because I pray to God that every time you close your eyes at night, you will see Javion and he will haunt you. That is going to make you turn yourself in.”

News 10 has reached out to the New Iberia Police Department, who says there is currently an open investigation into the death of Javion Batiste.

If you have any information, contact law enforcement.