Employer: Body found near park likely missing teen

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - A body was found Saturday morning floating in water, not far from where a 19-year-old was last seen Tuesday night.

At this point, it's not yet confirmed that the body found Saturday is that of the teen; but a representative for the 19-year-old's employer told told Local 2 they have been notified it is likely Gabe Verdin.

"It broke my heart," the representative said. "It was the first time meeting him and he was just so polite, such a nice kid."

Betty Byrd owns the Starlight Lounge on Market Street and may have been one of the last people to see Verdin alive.

The representative with La Beoff Brothers Towing, the company where Verdin worked, said he disappeared Tuesday night after he and another deckhand told the captain of their tow boat they were heading into town to buy cigarettes and sodas. Along the way the two ended up at the Starlight Lounge.

"He was ready to go at 9:30, but his co-worker wasn't ready to go yet, so some guy offered him a ride," Byrd said.

About a half hour later, the man who was allegedly giving Verdin a ride returned to the bar alone.

Verdin's mother spoke to Local 2 Friday after traveling 300 miles from her home in Southeast Louisiana, searching for her son.

"I look at the sky, I look all around, I just want to see him," Verdin's mother said.

Verdin had only worked for La Beoff Brothers as a deckhand for a couple of months. His employer said he was always smiling and had a good attitude.

Verdin's employer and family members were in Houston Saturday, along with a private investigator, still searching for answers.

Homicide investigators from the Harris County Sheriff's Office are now working the investigation.

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