Body of Teen, Who Went Missing in January After Leaving Target Where He Worked, Found in Iowa River

The teenager had been at Target in the Merle Hay Mall where he worked part-time. While Sharif did not have a shift that day, his family said that it was not unusual for him to hang out there. Around 5 p.m., he posted on Snapchat about "bad, bad news," but his family has said they have no idea what he meant by the cryptic post.

“I’m not sure what that meant or if it had anything to do with why he’s missing. My brother and I are close. He’s a great brother,” Sharif's sister, Ifrah Mohammad, previously told Dateline. “But I don’t know all his secrets. I just don’t know what it means.”

Sharif texted his mom to pick him up around 9:30 p.m., but when she arrived, her son had seemingly vanished.

The high school student was caught on security footage leaving the store “on his own and apparently voluntarily,” Sergeant Paul Parizek previously told NBC affiliate WHO-DT. His cell phone was powered off shortly after he left the store.

Parizek said Monday that while it's not uncommon for young adults like Sharif to change plans at the last minute, throughout the police investigation, "we realized pretty quick that this was out of his character."

"He wasn't the type of kid to be irresponsible and just leave his mom sitting there without letting her know what was going on," Parizek said.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

"Ultimately, our detectives put in hundreds of investigative hours on this," Parizek said at a press conference Monday, adding that the police department ended up requiring the help of the FBI because "every lead led to another question."

Parizek said that the area where Sharif's body was found was near the location his phone had last pinged.

"Definitely a very sad moment for everybody involved," Parizek said. "We were hoping that the longer this went on, chances were greater that we would find him alive somewhere and there'd be some sort of an explanation. This is definitely a sad ending. Not the ending that we wanted."

Parizek added that while finding Sharif's body provides a certain measure of "closure," for his family, there are still plenty more questions left unanswered and that the investigation is still ongoing.

"Was this accidental? Was it intentional? And how did he end up in the river?" Parizek said. "The case is far from closed."

Source: Read Full Article