(NECN: Kathryn Sotnik, Fitchburg, Mass.) - It was an emotional sight Friday night across from the apartment where Jeremiah Oliver lived in Fitchburg, Mass.
That's where friends comforted the boy's uncle, telling him, "It's better this way that he's been found already, he's been found, you can say goodbye to him."
The emotion was so powerful, Sandrino Oliver collapsed, and an ambulance was called to take him away.
"It hit home. I mean, I have children, I have grandchildren, and it's sad to see the family go through that," said Fitchburg resident Aracelia Torres, crying.
Earlier Friday, the Worcester County District Attorney's office confirmed a child's body was found on the side of the highway in Sterling.
While a positive identification hasn't been made yet, they say the height and weight of the body match Oliver.
"It was wrapped in a blanket-type object," said Joseph Early Jr., the Worcester County District Attorney. "I believe it was also packaging of a suitcase, duffel bag-type material."
Since Oliver's disappearance, Kevin Lynch has been at the forefront of a volunteer search group. He says a group was even out this morning searching when the new developments came in.
"We had hoped on, of course, the best scenario, but at least now we can give him the respect that the poor boy never received," said Lynch.
The case has been a disturbing one. Jeremiah was last seen by family members in September, but was only reported missing in December.
The boy's mother, Elsa Oliver, pleaded not guilty back in March to charges including kidnapping, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and reckless endangerment.
Her boyfriend, Alberto Sierra, pleaded not guilty to similar charges.
The family was being monitored by state social workers at the time, and the case led to intense scrutiny and public criticism of the DCF.
"Everybody dropped the ball, from his parents to his guardians to DCF," said Lynch. "Just looking at his face, had the face of pure innocence."
The District Attorney's office says the autopsy results could come back as early as Saturday.