Laura Rivera’s cries for help in her family’s painstaking citywide search for her missing autistic nephew turned to wails of sorrow Friday after her beloved godson was found dead just a mile and a half from his home.
“He was such a good heart,” Rivera said about 20-year-old Brian Gewirtz as tears streamed down her face. “He was wonderful. He was just a smiling boy. He would always make you smile.”
Gewirtz’s body was found in a thatch of woods near Shell Bank Creek and the Marine Park Golf Course around 5 p.m. Thursday.
The Marine Park resident had been missing since Feb. 17.
Investigators do not suspect foul play, officials said.
Gewirtz’s family and friends offered a $5,000 reward if he was found alive after he left his Marine Park home without his phone and never returned.
His family was especially worried because Gewirtz was diabetic and needed to take medicine daily. He also had a neurological disorder that made it hard for him to understand spoken language, his family said.