Police: body pulled from CT river is missing teen Brianna Cuoco

(Photo provided by Chicopee Police)

A South Hadley family is now trying to come to grips with the death of their daughter.Agawam Police Lt. Jennifer Blanchette confirmed for Western Mass News Saturday that the body pulled from the Connecticut River on Thursday has been positively identified as 18-year-old Brianna Cuoco.Cuoco was last seen on January 18.On Friday, a child advocacy group hired by Cuoco's family first told us that the body found was that of the missing teenager.Her family, first responders and volunteers have spent months scouring the area for any sign of her, focusing on the banks along the Connecticut River. A kayaker discovered the body in Agawam Thursday morning. It was taken to the medical examiner's office in Boston as it had been in the water for quite some time. Halos Investigations, LLC out of Mississippi, tells Western Mass News they've been working with Cuoco's family since about a week after she went missing, they're a non-profit advocacy group for missing and trafficked children. They tell Western Mass News they received word from Cuoco's family that the body is hers. Brianna's mom shared a picture on her Facebook page earlier Friday evening. The picture is a flyer with Brianna’s picture stating, "another one of our missing girls found deceased three months after going missing labeled as a runaway." Brianna’s mother shared it saying, “Thank you everyone.”

Western Mass News spoke via Facebook video with Krystle Lespier who is the vice president of Halos Investigations. She said that she is Cuoco's case manager.She told us the family is asking for privacy as they deal with this devastating loss."The body that was pulled out of the river recently was in fact Brianna Lynn Cuoco, it was confirmed by the medical examiner. The family is requesting privacy,” Lespier said, “We've tried as hard as we could to bring her child home, but it's with great sadness that she's been found." Chicopee Police Officer Michael Wilk also posted on the department's Facebook page that Cuoco's mother had reached out to them and notified them that her body had been recovered in Agawam and has been identified."On behalf of Chief Jebb and the Chicopee Police Department, we offer our prayers and condolences to the Jimmo family," Wilk added.

Lespier added that Cuoco's services will be private. Cuoco's death remains under investigation by the office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Copyright 2016 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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