MONROE, N.C. - Police in Monroe are investigating after they said a middle school student was struck and killed by a train Tuesday.
According to officials, officers were called around 8 p.m. to the 1400 block of Walkup Avenue, where they found the 13-year-old boy dead on the railroad tracks.
Investigators determined that the child, identified as Monroe Middle School student Carlos Rodriguez, was struck by a train. They said the teen was not at a railroad crossing when he was hit.
“It hurts me because I’m not going to see him again. I’m going to miss him,” his mother, Olivia Torbellin, said.
According to police, the boy reportedly left his home at 5:40 p.m. and was later reported missing.
His sister, Corina Rodriguez, was emotional when she spoke about her brother. "He was a good person. He always defended me,” she said.
Carlos’ family said he was a good student, but for some reason, he didn’t go to school Tuesday.
“We got home, my brother was like, Carlos wasn't home yet. Me and my mom went out. We left her phone and took mine, so they could call us if he called," Corina Rodriguez said.
They started driving through the neighborhood searching for Carlos but couldn’t find him. That's when they called police for help.
“I had this feeling that something went wrong,” Corina Rodriguez said.
Union County Public Schools made extra support available for students as well as staff members and have extra counselors available for those in need.
"This is a very sad situation," said Monroe Police Chief Bryan Gilliard. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the family, friends and classmates during this very difficult time."
Monroe police are still investigating how the boy ended up near the tracks as the train was passing. They said they believe he was alone, and this was likely an accident.
Check back with wsoctv.com for updates on this story.
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