People of Petrolia want peace following discovery of body

PETROLIA, TX (KAUZ) - The Clay County Sheriff's Office and medical examiners have confirmed the body found Tuesday in an abandoned shed in Petrolia as Brice Coates, who went missing last week.

The town has seen a lot of loss this year from a teacher's death to a car crash that claimed the lives of Vinita Trevino and Jakob Plummer.

Those living in Petrolia said they want to see peace in the town following all of the tragic news.

"Anything that goes on, you hear about it being such a small town," said Bryce Smith who has lived in Petrolia almost his whole life.

Smith recalls Tuesday when he heard the news about a body being found in Petrolia.

"My friend and I were driving through and we saw the crime scene and there were like five Sheriff's cars," said Smith.  "We automatically knew."

24 hours later, he is still sick about the details of what happened.

"The gruesome detail about the decomposition process that had taken place, you get that image in your head and it makes you just want to break down," said Smith.

A common meeting place for people Wednesday morning was at the grocery store in Petrolia.

A place so close to where the body was found.

"We've lost a lot this last year and they found him literally a block from here," said Joshua Large a student at Petrolia high school.  "Right over there in the shed. That's tragic."

There has been a lot of loss this year in the town, and Tuesday's discovery made the two people we spoke with realize one thing.

"You don't know how close death is until it's there and you never know when might be your last day. I think that's really hit us hard these past few weeks and months," said Smith.

"It makes me worry about life and how everything is possible," said Large.

"We just need a break," said Smith.  "That's all I want is just tranquility to be restored.  That's all I want."

The Clay County Sheriff's Office has not released a cause of death but did state they do not believe foul play was involved.

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