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Family Devastated After Missing Teen’s Body Discovered in Nearby Field

BROOKSVILLE – Sad news to report, after officials say they’ve located 18-year-old Dylan J. Thornton deceased in a field not far from where the search began.

Around 11:00 a.m. this morning, RNRF received information that Thornton’s body was discovered in a field behind a residence on Crowell Road.

Several of Thornton’s family and friends waited anxiously for hours, as search teams scoured dozens of acres along Sunshine Grove Road.

RNRF spoke with the family just minutes before the discovery, when confidence was still high that Thornton would be found alive; unfortunately, the news would not be what they hoped for.

We will bring more on this tragic story as it develops.


The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office is currently searching for missing and endangered adult, 18-year-old Dylan J. Thornton.

Officials say Thornton was last seen in the late evening hours, after leaving a party in the Spring Ridge subdivision.

Friends who were with Thornton when he left the party advised deputies that Thornton was possibly using illegal narcotics and may have been suffering from an “altered state” when he was last seen.

Thornton may have been in crisis and reportedly removed all of his clothing before running into a wooded area near Spring Ridge.

Thornton’s physical description is as follows:

White Male

Date of Birth – 09-09-1997


140 lbs.

Brown Hair

Hazel Eyes

We ask all residents in the area west of Sunshine Grove Road, please check properties, sheds, barns, etc., incase Thornton took refuge in one of these areas. Please do not approach Thornton, call 9-1-1 immediately.

If you have seen Dylan Thornton or know his current whereabouts please call the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office at 352-754-6830 or your local law enforcement agency. Again, due to Thornton’s possible “altered state”, please do not approach; call 9-1-1.

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  • I have known this family forever all he did was smoke pot never have I seen him even think about trying anything else….. He was a sweet young man that would make you feel good when you were down he would make you smile when you are sad he was an awesome kid would do anything for anybody in the world R.I.P Dylan you are so dearly missed fly high my angel

    Friday, 16 February 2018, 3:00 pm
  • kids don’t do drugs at all that’s the bottom line….i don’t care what they are! a young life lost looks like a great kid too. my sympathy to the family.

    Tuesday, 21 March 2017, 10:19 pm
  • He was an awesome guy just smoked pot didn’t mess with any hard drugs he always made me smile feel good about myself

    Thursday, 24 September 2015, 7:09 pm
  • Those DANGEROUS DRUGS is also a possibility.
    When I heard of those drugs, I googled them, in
    turn it directed me to some YouTube videos
    showing how people acted after using flakka,
    mollies, etc, it was NOT a pretty sight by any means!
    Some were ripping their clothes off, very aggressive,
    even their looks changed, they were also very paranoid,
    and their bodies felt they couldn’t get cool enough.
    Downright scary!!!!!!

    Please understand that I am in no way saying the
    deceased was taking them. I’m just saying it is possible
    by the way he was acting as he was leaving the party!

    I hope detectives find the person(s) who distributed
    those drugs and arrest them!!!

    Friday, 18 September 2015, 3:13 am
  • May he rest in peace but i really dont thank it was just the drugs i thank someone is trying to make it look as if it was cause none of it really makes any sence

    Thursday, 17 September 2015, 9:04 am
  • God bless his family and wrap them all up in your arms Lord Jesus. Such a tragedy for our community. Our young people need us to be there for them. They need jobs, and Hernando County does nothing for our children, they can’t even keep the schools repaired. I challenge you to take a young person under your wings. it may be a neighbor who is in need of your understanding and help. Wake up people, we are supposed to be our brothers keepers. Our community needs to address the issue of not having anything for our young people to involve themselves in. We are missing out on leaving a better world for our children.

    Thursday, 17 September 2015, 7:51 am
  • Damm my dawg gone but he was a good kid and only his family and close friends will now that people like me i knew hin for 6 years and i know his dad call me i just lost a lil bru one love # Dyaln R.I.P

    Thursday, 17 September 2015, 1:15 am
  • Prayers to the family, I hope they find peace. This is why pot should be legal, in Colorado the crime rate and the number of people who are using illegal harmful drugs has dropped dramatically. Drugs today are, so much worse than the 60s and 70s. Again very sorry for the family’s loss.

    Wednesday, 16 September 2015, 6:01 pm
  • My friend is in the picture posted with the article. He is helping the police… And he updated me on all the info they don’t post.

    Wednesday, 16 September 2015, 10:46 am
    • then how about you tell me so me and my family can begin to have closure

      Saturday, 19 September 2015, 4:34 pm
  • No I didn’t? I don’t even know the kid. And the police have been notified about what I was told… Thank you very much. I don’t know the girls name. But police have went to her house and spoke with her already from what I’ve been told.

    Wednesday, 16 September 2015, 10:42 am
  • Look into Melissa janicki, Larry Lee (aka bubba) and stephan janicki, I’m sure stephan mother knows about it but she will cover for him as well as the mother of Melissa but from what I hear they were there and part of this

    Wednesday, 16 September 2015, 10:03 am
    • did you report that to the police?

      Saturday, 19 September 2015, 4:33 pm
  • Prayers to the family I cannot imagine how hard this must be for them, that said we must stop drugs from killing our young people, it’s a big problem but funny you don’t hear any candidates on the subject, but you hear plenty about legalizing marijuana, all for medical , let’s not legalize a drug we already have enough problems with legal drugs and Drs that are pushers.

    Wednesday, 16 September 2015, 8:00 am
  • So very sad. Praying for the family ?.

    Wednesday, 16 September 2015, 7:55 am

    Wednesday, 16 September 2015, 6:37 am
  • There were several kids involved in this. They really aren’t kids, they are young adults who took life for granted! I happen to know them through a friend who often let them take refuge in his home to keep them off the streets. They were experimenting with dangerous drugs and they were shooting it into there veins. Blame the method, not these young adults! My neighbor is a first responder and they suspected mollies and bath salts! Two very dangerous drugs! Prayers go out to all who were involved because the way I look at it, not only one life was taken here.

    Wednesday, 16 September 2015, 4:37 am
    • he didnt shot anything into his veins and how dare you say that.

      Saturday, 19 September 2015, 4:32 pm
  • Very sad that his birthday was just a few days ago may he rest in peace my prayers go out to his family

    Wednesday, 16 September 2015, 12:09 am
  • @nicole who is the girl??

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 10:22 pm
  • NICOLE just put herself under a microscope

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 8:42 pm
  • Prayers go out to this young mans family and loved ones??

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 8:39 pm
  • How terribly sad. Prayers for the family.

    How did the police get notified? Did the “friends” at the party get worried about him and call, or did family call in the morning when they realized he was missing?

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 8:07 pm
    • we called as soon as we found out that he was going to our brothers house but never made it there and that he never went back to the party.

      Saturday, 19 September 2015, 4:30 pm
  • Psalm 18:22 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

    Matthew 5:44 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

    2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

    Revelation 21:44 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 7:40 pm
  • Who sold him that poison? Could have had multiple victims. so turn in the dealer party goers.

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 7:26 pm
  • God bless him and the Family.

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 6:49 pm
  • I’m sorry for the family. No one deserves this drugs or no drugs.

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 6:48 pm
  • Very sad day we had yesterday on Crowell rd. Very sorry for this families loss !!

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 4:59 pm
  • Sending prayers! RIP I have known this family ? for a very long time.Si sad God bless!

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 4:46 pm
  • I’m so sorry for this family’s loss!! So tragic! I hope they find out what really happened and justice gets prevailed!! Sounds fishy to me!!

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 3:02 pm
  • Police already have been told that and they went to the girls house to investigate as far as I’ve been told.

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 2:54 pm
  • My heart goes out to this young man’s family and friends.No parent should ever have to bury their child.

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 2:38 pm
  • Nunya you are right on the money. Nicole definitely must go to HCSO and tell them. This family needs closure.

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 2:35 pm
  • How do you feel about yourself nunya after the other posts pray for yourself hypocrite!!!!!!!! Im sending prayers to family sorry for your loss will never go on this site again all yall that posted earlier may god have mercy on your souls.

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 2:26 pm
    • @Joshua thomas…..I never made ANY negative comments
      about this young man.
      My ONLY negative comments were directed at DRUGS
      and the young lives that drugs have taken from us!
      I stand by my comments!!

      Get your facts straight before you make FALSE statements
      on a PUBLIC forum!!!

      Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 3:44 pm
  • My deepest condolences to the family and friends

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 1:53 pm
  • I know the family a long time..we were neighbors for awhile..gave them a snake…I just saw him Friday night at Walmart in the jewelry section…he was a awesome kid…very bright young man…just unfortunately hung with the wrong people and made a bad decision ..but all in all he was a great guy…..

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 1:11 pm
  • I dont think it was the drugs that got him. Very doubtful. “Thornton may have been in crisis and reportedly removed all of his clothing before running into a wooded area near Spring Ridge.” Who ever told police that had to have known! Cause coincidence that’s pretty much where they found his body. My friend was friends with him and word is some girl that was at the party sent a text to someone about them dumping a body in the woods…. Cops need to further look into that girls phone and who she was texting! They shouldn’t end here!

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 12:47 pm
    • @nicole………..It is YOUR duty to call HCSO & tell them YOUR friends name,
      along with the information that YOU POSTED ON A PUBLIC FORUM!!!

      Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 2:03 pm
  • My heart goes out to the family. 🙁

    Very sad that we lose so many young people because of DRUGS!!

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 12:28 pm
  • Omgoodness…… Father God, I lift up this beautiful family and friends at this sad time…. Father, give them strength, understanding, patience, and most of all love…. you Father are the almighty healer….. King of kings…. nothing is impossible with You…. in Your precious name Jesus…. amen and amen

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 12:15 pm
  • I know he used drugs, but it is so sad for his family. He was obviously loved.

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015, 12:11 pm
    • He didnt do drugs, he smoked pot he was a good boy

      Saturday, 19 September 2015, 4:27 pm
      • Dude, pot is a drug. I know it’s not a hard drug but it’s a drug and it doesn’t make you strip and run off to die. He was using something else.

        Saturday, 1 October 2016, 1:22 pm
        • No it’s an herb.

          Tuesday, 21 March 2017, 8:38 pm

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