BROOKFIELD - The body of missing 12-year-old Mark Goodrich Jr., of Sharon, Pa., was recovered from the Shenango River Saturday morning, and his family believes it wasn't accidental.
The body was found just as rescue teams prepared to resume their search that was called off Friday night.
''Everybody was setting up to search, and someone spotted the boy,'' Brookfield fire Chief Keith Barrett told the Tribune Chronicle.
Barrett said a citizen spotted the boy's body at 8:46 a.m. floating above the surface of the water, four-tenths of a mile downstream from where he was believed to have gone into the river near a closed-down trestle or bridge.
That's also the location where a police dog picked up a scent on the boy after the search began early Friday afternoon near an old Sharon Steel plant.
Authorities also were using video security footage from nearby Duferco Steel that shows three youngsters in and near the water about the time Goodrich would have been there.
Brookfield police Chief Dan Faustino said at least three youngsters described as friends of Goodrich were interviewed Friday.
Mark Goodrich Sr. said at least one of the boys with his son was responsible for the death.
"As far as I'm concerned, they killed my son,'' Goodrich told WYTV 33 News.
The boy's family said he would sometimes go to play at the bridge over the Shenango River with friends. One of the boys previously dared Mark to jump off the top of the viaduct.
''My son came and told his mother,'' Goodrich Sr. said. ''(He said) I don't wanna do it.''
The family said witnesses saw Mark Jr. with two boys near the river on Thursday and claimed one boy told the family that another ''beat him up and threw him in the water," Goodrich said.
Police declined to comment or speculate on the case. An autopsy will be performed, they said.
Faustino said Saturday that Sharon police Chief Michael Menster and police from Mercer County Southwest Regional Police Department would be taking the lead in the investigation.
The Mercer County Coroner's Office is expected to issue a ruling after the autopsy is conducted in Erie, Pa.
About 30 police and fire personal from Ohio and Pennsylvania took part in the search Friday until it was called off about 9 p.m. because of darkness.
Firefighters from Brookfield and Farrell, Pa., used a special boat supplied from Jamestown, Pa., Fire Department to recover the body of Goodrich, who was reported missing after last being seen sometime Thursday.