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Hearts shatter after Southern University student's body found in Lake Pontchartrain

21-year-old Marquise Jones' body was pulled from Lake Pontchartrain Thursday

NEW ORLEANS — Family and friends had their worst fears confirmed Thursday when the body of a missing student was found in Lake Pontchartrain.

Jones, who was studying nursing at Southern University, was pulled from lake Thursday. Jefferson Parish Sheriff deputies say a boater found him in the water.

Hearts are breaking and tears are falling, because those who knew 21-year-old Marquise Jones say he was so loved.

"I have known Marquise for as far as I can remember," Jamie Partman said. "I just can't understand why someone would do that to him. Marquise was full of life, he was a great person, like I said, I don't understand why someone would do this to him. It could've been anyone, could've happened to anyone."

Jones had been missing for two weeks. He reportedly had left a party in New Orleans on Onzaga Street Feb. 26. However, after that, it's unclear what happened.

"From what I've been told it was all girls at the party, everyone stayed there. He was the only one who left," Partman said. "From my understanding he was supposed to stay by a friend's house in the East which gave us the idea to look around."

Partman and a few others went to New Orleans East to find Marquise. They instead found his car, abandoned, sitting in an apartment parking lot.

"We knew it was his car from the parking sticker he had in his window, we had details on his temp tag and certain things in his car specifically," she said.

There was still hope. However, on Thursday, that turned to grief after a boater found Jones' body in Lake Pontchartrain.

"When I went to his mom's house I could tell from their expressions it was him," DaJanell White said.

The news has been devastating for the friends and family who knew Jones.

"His case won't go cold, we want justice, and we want to find out who did this to him, and why ya'll did this to him," Partman said.

And they say they won't give up, until all answers are found.

Jones' mother spoke with Eyewitness News Friday. She says the family is devastated.

His friends say the support of friends, family and complete strangers, has helped give those close to Jones strength during this difficult time.

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