‘I have sympathy for the family’: Greensboro community grieves teen’s death

North Carolina

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Who is the killer? Why did they take a teenager’s life?

Those are the questions Greensboro police and the family of 19-year-old Alan Tran want answered.

Tran was found in the woods near Lake Brandt and Witty Roads in Greensboro three days after he was reported missing.

On Friday, a small memorial was put up where a driver spotted the body.

The red candle, flowers and leftover pieces of police tape marked the spot that is approximately 22 miles from Tran’s home.

People in Greensboro and Jamestown are asking why someone would kill Tran and dump him there.

“You found a dead body?” a dispatcher asked the person who called 911 on Thursday.

“I wish I was joking, but I’m not,” the caller responded. “It’s somebody lying here on the side of the road, off in the woods.”

That call ended a three-day search for Tran. Investigators found his body near the wetlands of Lake Brandt Road around 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Days earlier, his 2020 white Dodge Charger was spotted near the Timbercreek apartment complex, damaged and burned.

His family, at the time, was hopeful he would return to them.

“We just want you to come home safe and sound to us,” Tran’s sister Megan told FOX8 on Wednesday.

Ronelle Betts didn’t know Tran personally but feels horrible for his family.

“I have sympathy for the family. I don’t know how you deal with that. It’s got to be heartbreaking,” she said.

Her home sits near the intersection where Trans body was found. Police blocked her street for hours.

Betts’ isn’t sure how the 19-year-old ended up in her neighborhood.

“You just don’t come to Witty Road for no reason,” she said.

She thinks the people responsible had to have all of it planned out.

“It’s quiet here at night. You can come in and not see another car for an hour,” Betts explained. “And to dump someone off at the side of the road, into the mud, would not be a difficult thing.”

The Tran family was not ready to go on camera on Friday.

They told FOX8 they wanted to thank the community for their support and ask that anyone with information contact Greensboro police or Crimestoppers.

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