Father Believes Body Found In Backyard Is His Missing Gay Son

When 31-year-old Zach Kennedy went missing on Oct. 22, his boyfriend didn’t think too much of it at first, according to the man’s family.

It wasn’t unusual for the Long Beach resident to miss an occasional appointment or skip out on dinner plans without warning.

“He was a very free spirit,” said Zach Kennedy’s father, Jeff.

But after about five days, concern set in.

Zach’s boyfriend went to the police and kept the family updated.

This week, more than six months after the disappearance, Jeff Kennedy believes he finally has an answer about what happened to his son:

Police on Thursday said they had found what they believe are human remains buried in the yard of a Long Beach home where Zach Kennedy was last seen.

Forensic pathologists were trying to confirm whether it’s the son’s body.

“My gut feeling tells me it’s my son, just because of all the circumstances,” the father said

His son was an acquaintance with the man who owns the home on Eighth Street near Magnolia Avenue, said Jeff Kennedy, adding he has received information from police and the boyfriend. He said he believes the two had recently met online.

Police say the last time Zach Kennedy was seen was at the house, in October.

Zach’s boyfriend and other friends repeatedly posted missing-person fliers in the neighborhood, even putting one on the home’s door, said Jeff Kennedy, adding that police have searched the home multiple times.

Thursday morning, they served a warrant authorizing them to start digging on the property, police said. Later that day, neighbors said, they watched crews wheel recently unearthed plastic bins to a coroner’s van. Jeff Kennedy said police told him they’d found human remains wrapped up inside the containers.

Police said they haven’t arrested anyone in the case.

Knocks at the home’s door and a message left at a phone number listed for its owner went unanswered Friday. Neighbors described the homeowner as a recluse who didn’t talk much but often had guests over.

Jeff Kennedy said his son was eminently likable, quickly making friends and constantly smiling.

True to his free-spirited nature, Zach moved to Long Beach from his Pennsylvania home very suddenly about 10 years ago.

“When he left he had $13 in his pocket,” the father said. “(He) told me he was leaving, and he was gone.”

From Pennsylvania, Jeff Kennedy said he’s been watching the search for his son from afar and coordinating with detectives, whom he said have been tireless. Jeff Kennedy said he’s thankful to have an answer about his son, even though it’s not the news he wanted.

“It’s closure, because, one, in my mind, in my heart right now, I believe it’s my son,” he said. “So at least I know where he’s at.

“Other than that, it’s a very numb feeling. The emotions hit me, but they haven’t hit me hard. I know I’m going to have a meltdown. It’s coming.”