Investigators say 16-year-old Dyrell Pittman's body was found in a ditch in Halifax County.
Deputies say he was beaten to death.
Donnie Pittman, Dyrell's mother, reported him missing Wednesday. He was supposed to be in court that day on robbery charges.
Family members said they are stunned someone would want to hurt Dyrell.
"He was a good kid. He was very respectful. He was outgoing and he had lots of friends," said Donnie Pittman.
"He didn't deserve the treatment he did get, and I hope we find whoever did this so justice will be served," said Samuel Whitehead, Pittman's cousin.
Dyrell dropped out of school a few weeks ago, but counselors still spent most of Friday talking with students about his death.
Authorities are searching for possible suspects in the case.
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