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'He Didn't Deserve That': Family Seeking Answers After Body Of Neel Curiel Found Shot, Burnt

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Family and friends of a murdered teen held a vigil in southwest Miami-Dade Tuesday night.

They gathered at SW 187 Avenue and 8 Street, the site where 18-year-old Neel Curiel's body was found.

Those close to him couldn't hold back the tears.

"It just doesn't feel real, thinking about Neel not being with us. I still don't know what to think," said his cousin Jessica Ortiz. "Thinking about Neel not being with us, I just don't know what to say, it is devastating, devastating."

Crime scene tape marked the entrance to the trail where Curiel's body was found.

According to police, the 18-year-old was shot, then his body was burned.

CBS4's Bobeth Yates spoke to Curiel's grandfather, Ricardo Curiel, who said there is no justification for his grandson's death.

"It's not just me, his grandmother, his mother his aunts, and uncles, and siblings were all going through terrible pain," he said. "What they did was a crime. What they did to our boy, to shoot him and burn him. They burnt him. He didn't deserve that."

Neel Curiel recently graduated high school and was interested in going to the Army. Now, his family says it's more than his dreams that are cut short.

"He was such a good person. Really, he had such a good heart," said Ortiz. "And he was just a young kid, and he just was so accepting and loving. And everyone loved Neel."

The slain teen's body was discovered by a canal near Miccosukee Road on Saturday morning.  His car was found hours later, miles away near 8 Street and 216 Avenue.

But police still say they have few leads in this case and need tips.

"We don't know. We don't have any of that information. We're trying to get answers. We're trying to get answers," said Ortiz.

A GoFundMe has been setup to help his family with funeral costs.

If you have any information, please call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

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