Metro-East News

Body found in East St. Louis park is that of missing teen

M’RQuan Jefferson
M’RQuan Jefferson Provided photo

A body found Monday near a picnic pavilion in Frank Holten State Park is that of a 19-year-old who had been reported missing, St. Clair County Coroner Calvin Dye Sr. said Thursday.

The teen, M’RQuan Jefferson, had a gunshot wound to the head, according to the coroner.

Dye said the death appeared to be a suicide, and he said police found a .22-caliber pistol near the body. Dye added, however, that the manner of death was still under investigation.

Earlier this week, Jefferson’s mother, Demetria Henley, reported she had not seen her son since the last week in April, when he left for school. Henley said she last saw her son April 27 and later learned that he had been dropped from East St. Louis Senior High School.

Jefferson’s body was found Monday evening by two fishermen. There was no identification found on the body.

East St. Louis School District 189 issued a statement Thursday: “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of M’RQuan during this difficult time. We are saddened by the loss of a promising life cut short. Social workers, counselors and other support staff are on hand to address the emotional needs of students.”