Jonathan Dailey
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A Charlotte family's search for their 23-year-old son in Boston ended Tuesday when the graduate student's body was found in the Charles River.

Jonathan Dailey was last seen a week earlier, on Oct. 2, at the apartment he shared with a friend in Boston's Allston neighborhood, about a mile from where his body was found, reportedly bound with chains and weighed down by a cinder block.

When family and friends couldn't reach him by phone – and he didn't show up at work on Friday – his parents traveled to Boston to search for him. They scoured the places he frequented and distributed fliers across the city.

Around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, a rowing coach spotted a body in the Charles River near the Boston University Bridge. Hours later, the local District Attorney's Office confirmed that it was Dailey.

Authorities released few details about the circumstances of his death, and it's unclear whether they suspect foul play.

"The facts and circumstances surrounding Mr. Dailey's death remain under investigation by State Police detectives assigned to the Suffolk DA's office," Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley's office said in a statement. "We rule out no possibility and we promise Mr. Dailey's family a thorough, comprehensive search for the truth."

The Boston Globe reported that the body was found with chains and a cinder block, but the district attorney's office said it would not discuss evidence found at the scene.

After the announcement, Dailey's sister confirmed the news Tuesday evening to friends on a Facebook page where the family had been posting updates about the search.

"We just found out that my dear brother Jonathan is with Jesus," Robyn Hoffman wrote. "We are in shock. Please lift us up, we are devastated."

Passion for architecture

Relatives said Dailey was born and raised in Charlotte and attended Northwest School of the Arts. He played violin and piano, performing in local children's orchestras.

He then went to Appalachian State University, where he studied architectural technology and design. His family said he loved architecture and never wavered from that path as a career.

After graduation, he and a friend decided to move to Massachusetts to attend a graduate program at Boston Architectural College. They moved to the city last August and were roommates.

Dailey wasn't enrolled at the college this semester because of financial reasons, his family said. But Dailey had said he loved being in Boston.

Dailey's roommate, Miles Smith, said he and Dailey ate pizza last Tuesday and watched TV. Smith went to bed about 9 p.m. That was the last time Dailey was reported seen alive.

Desperately searching

As days passed with no contact with Dailey, friends and family grew concerned. The search for him picked up in intensity after Dailey failed to show for work Friday.

Dailey left his computer and a number of other items at the apartment, the family said. His cellphone was not answering calls.

His parents, Bruce and Donna Dailey, went to Boston over the weekend, working with friends to plaster fliers across the city that asked for tips about their son's whereabouts. They worked with missing-person organizations, including the Charlotte-based Kristen Foundation, and used social media to spread the word about his disappearance.

Robyn Hoffman has said the family is thankful to the Boston and Charlotte communities "for rallying around our family and helping with the search effort."

Dailey's parents and other searchers also checked a nature preserve in southeast Boston on Sunday but found no clues. They said Dailey, an Eagle Scout who enjoyed camping, left all his camping equipment at the apartment.

Two bodies in two days

On Monday, a body was found in Charles River, sparking questions whether it might be Dailey. But authorities soon said the body was that of an elderly man.

The family said a $5,000 reward was being offered for information "leading to the safe return of Jonathan."

On Tuesday, after the discovery of a second body in the river, detectives went to Dailey's apartment to speak with family members and to get his dental records, according to reports.

Dailey's sister called the experience "emotionally gut-wrenching."

Hours later, their fears were confirmed.

Andy McMillan, a family friend who had known Dailey for 15 years, told the Observer he was shocked and saddened.

"Jonathan was a really sweet guy and a special guy," he said.

The Boston Globe and WBZ contributed.
Published in Charlotte Observer from Oct. 10 to Nov. 8, 2012.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
82 entries
November 6, 2012
Noell Dorsey
November 5, 2012
May you find comfort and peace at this time of sorrow. (2Cor.1:2-4)
Arjorie Fields
October 30, 2012
Condolences! Very very sad. I didn't know Jon but when I saw the story on TV and saw that he was a biker I had a connection. May he Rest In Peace and his family and friends find peace in their hearts
Kenn Bourque
October 27, 2012
Bruce and Donna and family,

As we continue to pray for you, the constant words that come from the Father are "Underneath are the Everlasting Arms". May His comfort hold you. He is Faithful!

Rebecca Barnwell
October 27, 2012
We live in turbulent times where tragic things befall us, please take courage from God's word at this time of great sadness.
October 26, 2012
Bruce, Donna, Robyn, Kevin, Bill, Eleanor and all the other family members (and there are many). Thom and I have not stopped praying for you. We pray daily that God will continue to send the Holy Spirit to comfort you and envelope you in His loving arms for ever how long it takes for you to have peace. He has not and will never leave you. Though you have sorrow tonight, your joy comes in the morning. We will continue to lift you up to the Father as you travel this road. Sending you our love,
Thom and Delores Clark
October 20, 2012
Our thoughts are with the Dailey family.

As parents of four children (two in college - one at BAC), your tragedy has hit very close to our hearts.

From all accounts, Jonathan has a sparkling soul and was a great asset to society in all of his endeavors. You must be very proud of his positive impact on all the lives that he touched, and will continue to touch.

With deepest sympathy,
John and Diane
October 17, 2012
In the memory of Jonathan Dailey, Derek leighton, Bruce edwards. All beautiful young men taken too soon.
October 17, 2012
There are no words to remove your pain. But God can bring peace to the brokenhearted. (Psalm 147:3)
October 16, 2012
There are no words to express the heaviness of my heart for you as you walk through this tragedy. I have and will continue to lift you all up to receive comfort and answers. I am so sorry.
D. Fuhrmann
October 16, 2012
The Dailey Family,
My heart is with all of you. I have been praying every day for God to help give you all peace and comfort. Love you with all my heart.
Candi Threatt
October 16, 2012
Dailey Family, may God touch each of you in your time of loss. I hope you can find the sunlight among the clouds that cover. There is always a reason for the season. Some seasons are longer than others. Remember your seasons of laughter and of joy with Jonathan. You will see him again some day. ...God Bless.
October 15, 2012
Dear Dailey Family, I don't know you but have been following the story of Jonathan since it appeared in Boston. My wife and I live just two blocks away from where his body was discovered and we grieve with you. When we heard that he was missing we prayed for his safety and protection. We have five children ranging in age from 17-28 and have a son about Jonathan's age. We cannot imagine the pain and anguish that you are feeling at this time. We will continue to pray for you and your family as you walk this journey and may God enlarge your heart and mind for Him during the process.
Cliff & Marilyn Gardner
October 15, 2012
Bruce, Donna and family, We are sorry to hear about Jon. Prayers are being lifted up for you. Steve, Terri and Joel Hughes
October 15, 2012
So very very sorry for the loss of an obviously smart, talented, and loving son, brother, and friend.
Here's a link to some resources that may be helpful to the family.
Sara Thomas
October 14, 2012
May God comfort you in your sorrow.
Larry Threatt
October 14, 2012
Jonathan, I'm sorry your life has been cut short. I never met you but I see from the outpouring love and support from your family and friends you are a great person. I pray that God will convince the person that hurt you to turn themselves in. I really feel for your parents and other family members. I pray that GOD delivers them peace and the courage to move forward. Losing someone you love is very painful but I know GOD will ease their pain. Rest in peace!
Nikki Believe
October 14, 2012
Bill and Eleanor, So sorry to hear about your grandson. Your friends at Sugaw Creek Presbyterian Church are praying for the Dailey Family.
Brant Hart
October 14, 2012
I am so sorry for your loss...may Jonathan R.I.P. He is in my prayers and so are you all. May the Higher Force give you the strenth, courage and faith to deal with this tragic death. I never knew Jonathan...just wanted to offer my sympathies to his family and friends!
Matti Kniva Spencer
October 13, 2012
Donna, Bruce, Robyn & Kevin,
We are so sorry for your loss and will continue to keep you in our prayers during this difficult time. If there is anything we can do please let us know and don't lose sight of the good times everyone had while Jonathan was with us.
David Frisina
October 13, 2012
Donna and Bruce,
It has been years since our paths have crossed, but we want you to know that our family is praying for your family in this time of pain and loss. May God wrap His arms around you all.
Carol and Wade White
October 12, 2012
Dear Dailey Family,
I am a resident here in Massachusetts and feel dearly for your loss at this time. May Jonathan rest and hear your prayers and you all receive strength. God Bless you all
Sincerely Darlene Cambridge,Ma
October 12, 2012
To Donna,Bruce,Kevin and Robyn,
I remember all the good times we shared as neighbors and the day that Jonhathan was born.He was always such a sweet child and you guys were such a blessing to our family. You have been on my mind for several months and I was going to try and get in touch with you to catch up, then I hear about Johnathan.
I know that he is with the Lord and exploring all the wonders of Heaven.
I pray that God gives you peace in the days ahead.
May God be with you,
Kitty Pennell
October 12, 2012
It seems like only yesterday you brought home your bouncing baby boy. I remember running next door to take his picture with my new camera. My prayers are with you and I know my grandmother met him at the pearly gates and took him under her wing. May The Lord embrace you with his comforting hands and carry you through this difficult time. I am truly sorry for your loss and thankful God gave you such a blessing for 23 years.
Amy Alexander
October 12, 2012
I love you, you are being prayed for by so many people that love you. Praying that our loving and able Father will cradle you all in His arms.
Debbie Stairs
October 12, 2012
Bruce, I am praying for comfort for you and your family
October 12, 2012
Bruce and Donna, our prayers go up to Father for you. We know Jonathan is with the Lord Jesus, but the pain and longing as parents is intense for you. As parents of a son who was also at MS youth for 4 years, our hearts ache for you. We are out in Cambodia as missionary HS teachers and cannot be there, but know that our thoughts and prayers are there with you. Love in our Lord Jesus, Maurice and Roslyn Darr, MSU class of 2002.
Maurice Darr
October 11, 2012
Dear Donna, Bruce, Robyn, and Kevin,
I wasn't sure how else to get in touch with you, and I wanted you to know that if there is anything we can do for you here, just let us know. We are listed in the phone book on Redcoat. You are on our minds and in our prayers constantly.
Jocelyn and Pat
October 11, 2012
Donna. Bruce and family, I weep with you as Jonathan left you here on earth to go be with the Lord. Now, he is standing before the Almighty praising Him. I truly will keep you all in my prayers daily. I can't imagine how you feel, but I know you all are clinging to the Lord to get you through. Love you in Christ.
Helen Merriweather
October 11, 2012
Bruce and Donna, I am so sorry to hear about your loss of Jonathan. May the Lord comfort you and your family at this time.
Bill Price
October 11, 2012
Dailey Family, my deepest sympathy to you on your loss of a son and brother. I didn't know Jonathan and as a Mother, I can only imagine your anguish. Your precious Family is in my heart, on my mind and in my prayers. Sincerely,
October 11, 2012
We are overcome with grief for your family. We have only met a few times but I know what a wonderful family you have. I have not stopped thinking of you and asking Jehovah to comfort you. Love, Daisy Frager and family
Daisy Frager
October 11, 2012
Dear Dailey Family,
I pray for comfort and peace for you as you face this loss. May your burden be eased by the knowledge that you, your children and your parents are loved.
Carole Futrelle
October 11, 2012
Our family is deeply saddened by this tragic loss and we share in your pain. Know that we love you, cover you and are here for you.
Al & Robin Wood
October 11, 2012
Dear Mrs. and Mr. Dailey,...Being the mother of a Boston college student, I have been following your Jonathan's disappearance from the beginning, with heartfelt prayers and concern. We didn't know of Jonathan before, but, from what others have written about him, we regret not having had the opportunity. Amazing..., you must be so proud of the young man he became. He was not my son, but my grief is immense, when I think of how you must be suffering. There can be no greater pain than the loss of one's child...! I have lived through other friend's sorrows and have dreaded being in their shoes for many years - when my oldest went to war and each day with my youngest living in Boston. My prayers weren't enough to help bring Jonathan home safe, but I'm sincerely hoping that they can add to all the other prayers and condolances of those who wish you some solace. May His Blessed Mother Mary help you and your loved ones through this tragedy. May the Lord bless you and keep you, Jonathan...until you meet, again....
Elizabeth V.
October 11, 2012
Your family is in our prayers during this difficult time. May God be with you and your faith carry you through.
Susan Atchley
October 11, 2012
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Jonathan Dailey. I can't imagine the pain they are going through. I pray that he did not suffer if at all possible and his family will get closure on his death so they can begin the healing process.
May God Bless the family and friends of Jonathan Dailey. His memory will live on in the hearts of all who knew him.
Rita Wells
October 11, 2012
I am speechless since hearing of your family's tragic loss. My sons and I, Simeon, Jared and Jordan wept together as the news weighed upon our hearts. We will continue to intercede for your family, your sorrow of loss and the presence of our Lord about your hearts.
Jt Cardwell
October 11, 2012
The Dailey's are amazing, loving people and it's hard to comprehend how or why this has happened. Bill & Eleanor are some of the most kind, gentle and dedicated people God ever placed here on Earth. Bruce, Donna and Robyn, Bill and Eleanor... we wish that God bring you all the healing and comfort that you need, now and the future. A light has moved from Earth to Heaven. God bless you all.
Vince Delap and Dan Compton
October 11, 2012
no words can express our sadness at the passing of Johnathan..our prayers are for the family at this trying time..God has a plan....
Tim &Christine Murray
October 10, 2012
To the Dailey family, I just heard the tragic news tonight about your loss, and words can not express how very sorry I am. The last time i saw you was at Anita's birthday party. You are such a wonderful family so full of love. May your faith keep you strong during this very sad time. Praying for you all.
Connie Gentz
October 10, 2012
Our Dear Friends ...

We love you all so much. May you experience the PEACE that miraculously passes all understanding during this time. May you experience the warm embrace of the Fathers arms and HIS intense love for you all ...Thank you for selflessly sharing your family with us and with our children; helping raise our children as your own. Bruce & Donna, you are the best parents ever! Please know we are here for whatever you need.
Mike & Sabrina Polly
October 10, 2012
Jon, you were a dear friend and a wonderful stand partner and I had tons of fond memories with you at Northwest during my time there. You haven't left my mind since you were missing, you're still sorely missed. You didn't deserve this. Your family didn't deserve this. Rest In Peace my friend.
Bruce Kan
October 10, 2012
My deepest condolences to the Dailey family. Jonathan was a great guy. I hope you find comfort in your faith, family, and friends. I will keep you all in thoughts and prayers. May God be with you.
David Vergato
October 10, 2012
God grant him eternal rest. I'm so sorry to hear about this, and am praying right now for you all.
Ben Triplett
October 10, 2012
My heart aches for Jonathan's family. May Jonathan's spirit, love and talent be remembered forever. God bless!
October 10, 2012
To the Dailey Family, I pray that our Father will give you comfort during this horrible time. Knowing that your precious son is now in Heaven with Jesus helps to ease the pain of loss. We will continue to pray for you. Special thoughts to Bill and Eleanor.
Beth and Jim Rickenbaugh
October 10, 2012
To the Dailey Family, Our love and compassion to you all. We treasure the memories when our children played together when they were young.
Kathy Triplett
October 10, 2012
My heart and prayers go out to all of Jonathans family and friends. My heart is breaking for not just family but Jonathan. May God give all the strength in days to come to find peace within.
Vilma Kuttner
October 10, 2012
We are so sorry for the loss of Jonathan.We pray that the love you have for each other and for Jonathan will comfort you.We pray that God will enfold you with his love.
Frankie,Joan,Brandon&Tori Vaughn
October 10, 2012
I never knew your son but could tell by his picture that he was a happy, beautiful soul. My prayers are will you and I share your unfair loss as both a mother and a child of God. Please know people care and feel the hurt with you.
Kathleen Kolman
October 10, 2012
Bruce, Donna and Robyn.
So very sorry to hear about Jonathan. He was such a good Eagle Scout, always showing respect to the adults and other scouts. I remember when we were camping, he always liked to lead us on a hike. He could walk trails and never get tired.

All of you are in our thoughts and prayers. May God Bless you all.

Chip & Donnell Horton
Chip Horton
October 10, 2012
Donna, Bruce and family,
My heart hurt as I heard the outcome of the search. I remember Jon and you from Orchestra and boosters at NWSA, and have been keeping you all lifted in prayer. May you feel the peace that passes all understanding as you travel this dark valley. Keeping you in prayer.
Ardy Skidmore
October 10, 2012
Your family is in our prayers at this difficult time. May God give you courage and strength, and comfort you.
Phyllis, Ken, and Raine Munkens
October 10, 2012
May god bless Jonathan Dailey and may his family find peace and truth. My deepest sympathies for all of the Dailey family.
Donnalyn Downs
October 10, 2012
My heart breaks for all of Jonathan's friends and family. NWSA families are one big family. Our son graduated from Northwest in 2008 and knew Jonathan from Orchestra and other classes. You are in our prayers.
Sharon Foote
October 10, 2012
I am so so sorry to hear of your loss of Jonathan. Bill and Eleanor are two of my favorite people. I cannot imagine the sorrow that you are feeling but please know that your entire family is constantly on my mind and in my prayers. May you families strong faith be a comfort to you in the difficult days ahead. God bless.
Peg Heavner
October 10, 2012
Dear Bruce and Donna, May the Lord enfold you in His arms and give you an infusion of peace and joy. I lost my daughter, Melody, in 2006 and so I know first-hand the heartache you are experiencing. I just want you to know that "Weeping may endure for the night but Joy comes in the morning!" My Prayers and Thoughts are with you!
Cheryl Finn
October 10, 2012
My thoughts and prayers are with you all now and will continue to be in the days ahead. Peace be with you.
Donna Miller
October 10, 2012
I have felt such sadness about the loss of your son. While in Boston this past weekend, my own son and I saw the signs about your son. I prayed for his safe return, and am feeling, at least in part, your sorrow about his passing. I hope that, in some small way, the memories of him and knowing that many people grieve with you, will help you through this difficult time. My prayers are with you all. Elizabeth Bruchon (Belmont, NC)
October 10, 2012
Please accept my most sincere condolences. Your family is in my prayers at this most difficult time.
October 10, 2012
my thoughts are with the family, I was watching the tv and following all the information and was saddened to find out what happened. I dont know him but wanted to express my condolenses
Al webb
October 10, 2012
My deepest sympathy for the lost of your loved one. I can't even imagine what your family feeling and going through. You are all in my prayers. Remember all of the good memories and he is now flying with the angles and now watching over you.
October 10, 2012
O for a day to walk again slow through a forest deep O for the time to talk again before I go to sleep O for the warmth of summer sun the chill of winters eve and O for the chance to sing my song once more before I go O for the scent of autumn air brisk clean and cold O for the chance to travel where the seas are blue and bold O for the prayer I never prayed O for the kiss I never kissed and O for the chance to sing my song once more while yet I missed cry of bird and wail of wind word unspoken sin un-sinned a night to dance a hill to climb the chance to sing while there is time O for the taste of meat and ale to linger on my tongue O for the sight of hill and dale and faces that are young O for the hand of one I love the time to bloom and grow and O for the chance to sing my song once more before I go.

May the peace of God be with you all now & forever.
October 10, 2012
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
K Harvey
October 10, 2012
I did not know Jon, but was shocked in realizing that his sister Robyn worked with our office as a student many years ago. I have a 15 year old son, yet I can only begin to understand how devastating this is. I will keep the family in my thoughts and prayers in the days ahead.
Sali Gill-Johnson
October 10, 2012
My heart and my prayers go out to your family at this time for the loss of your loved one.
Donna Fant
October 10, 2012
So sorry for your loss. I am lifting up your family.
October 10, 2012
I am so sorry for your loss. May the good memories, and the love you shared give you some comfort during this difficult time.
Sandra Burns
October 10, 2012
My heart is breaking for you at this horrible time in your lives. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Tanya Briner
October 10, 2012
Donna and Bruce,
My family and I continue to pray for you and your family. Please find peace in knowing that Jonathan is with our dear Jesus now! It has been years since I have seen you, but know I am here if you need anything! Your family has always been so special to ours!
Wendy Bohart-Bezek
October 10, 2012
May god bless the family and friends for the loss of this young man.
October 10, 2012
Dear Bruce and Donna:

Words cannot express what we feel for you. May God give you comfort. We are so sorry you lost your dear son.
Nathan and Suzzannah Gittner
Suzzannah Gittner
October 10, 2012
My heard goes out to family and friends. My daughter also attended NWSA. May he rest in peace.
October 10, 2012
Life and death are tragic when they are close.
October 10, 2012
Bruce and Donna,
I know it has been many years since we have seen you but you and your family have always been in our hearts. Words cannot explain how saddened we are over Jonathan's passing. We are holding you and the rest of the family up in prayer without ceasing. "God is our refuge and strength--an ever-present help in trouble." May Jesus wrap His huge arms around your entire family and give you His peace which passes ALL understanding.

In His power and love,
Steve & Patti Smith
Steve & Patti Smith
October 10, 2012
May he rest in peace!
Friends from Northwest School of the Arts.
October 10, 2012
I am so sorry for your sudden loss. Jon's family and friends are in my thoughts
Amber G
October 10, 2012
We are praying for you and your family. We are so sorry to hear the news. I remember holding that sweet baby in the nursery at church. What wonderful memories I will always cherish.
Jan :Pizzolato
October 10, 2012
Miss you already Jon. Much love to the incredible Dailey family.
Stuart Clark
October 10, 2012
I don't know Jonathan, and I don't know the family, but I pray that peace that passes ALL understanding will surround them during this tragic time.
Sarah D.
October 10, 2012
Bruce,Donna, and family,
Gary and Susan and Sarah and I have been praying for you. How precious is the body of Christ that our prayers were joined with those around the world. Please know that you and your family have always been precious to us, and we will continue to uphold you before the throne.
Trusting Jesus with you, and for you,
Gary, Debbie, Sarah Tolbert, Susan and David Elkins
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