Teen found dead in back of Palatka residence identified

Developments from a teenager found dead in Putnam County.

PALATKA, Fla. -- A 16-year-old found lying dead with a gunshot wound outside of a Putnam County house has been identified.

Terry 'TJ' Monahan was pronounced dead at the scene when the Putnam County Sheriff's Office responded to the 1800 block of Locust Avenue in Palatka around 5:15 p.m. Sunday.

Deputies responded to the discovery of a Monahan's body after a passerby found him lying outside of a house.

Sgt. Hancel Woods, a spokesman for Putnam County Sheriff's Office, said the victim, now identified as Monahan, had been shot.

Detectives have located and are interviewing a person of interest in the shooting death of the Monahan, according to a release from the Putnam County Sheriff's Office. Authorities did not say how long the body might have been lying in the yard of the Locust Avenue home.

A next door neighbor who did not want to reveal her name said just after 5:00 p.m. Sunday, a young man "knocked on my door, asked for a phone because he thought he saw someone laying in the yard next door."

She gave him a phone. She said she and the young man went to check on the teenager who she called TJ.

She said, "He was right there by the back door. On the ground. Face down."

The neighbor said TJ lived with his mother in the home for only a few months. He was polite and kind. "No problems. No loud music," she recalled. She remembered he'd say "Yes ma'am. No ma'am. He was brought up well."

Many neighbors say they never heard a gunshot.

"I never heard a thing and the puppies didn't make a fuss," said the next door neighbor.

Investigators say they have a person of interest in the case.

The neighbor said she wished she could have helped somehow.

"I wish someone could tell me why – on a Sunday afternoon," the neighbor said with tears in her eyes. "It was daylight. The sun was shining! Someone shot that young man! What's he done? I wish I could've helped him, given him breath … but nothing. He was gone. He was gone! Why?"

Neighbor Jason Dortch told First Coast News the boy seemed quiet, but was often seen playing with others in the neighborhood.

"...been several families in and out of that house, but he hasn't been there very long..." Dortch said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is assisting with the investigation.

According to the Putnam County School District, TJ had not been in the school system since 2004 or 2005.


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