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Body found in ditch near school identified

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Updated: 2/03 7:34 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has identified the body of a man found in a ditch near Rutledge PearsonElementary School as Adrian Watkins Jr., 18.

As classes let out at the school Monday afternoon the thought of Watkins' body being discovered just a few feet away was still present in many parents' minds.

"My son just asked me if he can go to the park and I said, 'No, you can't go to the park, not without me,'" said Kimberly Hutchinson.

According to the JSO, Watkins' body was found by a teen around 6:30 p.m. Saturday in ditch that runs between Beverly Hills Park and the school on Roanoke Boulevard.

The discovery forced deputies to block several streets in the area Saturday night.

Rakwon Morton said he attended First Coast High School with Watkins. He said he was shocked to learn he was gone.

"He was a good person. He had a good heart. He really did have a good heart," said Morton.

The JSO is not releasing many details about the case. It is still unclear how long his body was in the ditch or why the case is being investigated as if foul play is involved.

In the meantime, parents said they're not letting their guard down with their own children until everything is cleared up.

"I'm making sure they're right in front of the house, if not in the yard," said Hutchinson.

Watkins' mother, who lived with her son about two miles away from where his body was found, said they recently moved here from Virginia. She declined an on-camera interview.

If you have any information, you're asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS, you could be eligible for a reward of up to $3,000.
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