MODESTO -- Detectives have identified the human remains found in a Modesto backyard as 26-year-old Jacob Sutton-Bubeck, who had been missing since February.
A family is devastated and friends are heartbroken. Through tears, Tiffany Craighead said her high school friend, also known as "Cheddar," was a good guy.
"Even if he couldn't help himself, he would help you," she told FOX40.
Wednesday, the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department identified him as the man whose decomposing body was discovered in a backyard last weekend.
A cross and candle now mark Sutton-Bubeck's shallow grave.
"How could somebody do that to somebody, to somebody's' loved ones, somebody's' brother and uncle? He adored his niece," Craighead said.
Cheddar was last seen by his brother on Jan. 25 and was reported missing Feb. 10. For months those closest to him canvased the Modesto area, holding out hope, until Wednesday.
"We didn't know where to look. We didn't know what to do. We had everybody handing out flyers, going door to door," Craighead told FOX40. "What I think hurts the most is knowing he was so close."
The sheriff's department said information and tips have been pouring in.
"Detectives absolutely have some workable leads in this case that they are working on," said Stanislaus County Sheriff's Sgt. Tom Letras. "We have gotten several names of suspects, different people called into us."
Already it's paying off, leading investigators to new evidence.
"We have some evidence that has been located at different locations, not just where the body was recovered, that we believe is directly connected to this case," Letras said. "That evidence is being sent off for processing and that may also help provide us with more leads."
Now, those same friends and family who searched for Cheddar are searching for answers as to why he was murdered.
"I want the person who's in charge of all this to feel the pain that Jacob did and what his friends and family are going through now. I just want justice for Jacob," Craighead said.
Detectives are continuing to ask anyone with information to call them.