THE family of Daniel McAnaspie has been told a body found in a Co Meath drain could be the missing teenager.
The 17-year-old vanished on February 26 and is believed to have been murdered.
His relatives have been told to prepare themselves for the possibility that the body of the young man found yesterday could be their brother.
Daniel's sister Catriona confirmed to the Herald that they had been contacted by gardai.
The grim discovery of the decomposed body was made yesterday afternoon by a land owner in Rathfeigh, Duleek, Co Meath.
The body was half submerged in water in a drain.
Gardai sealed off the area pending a forensic examination and the body was moved to a Dublin hospital for a post mortem. "The gardai rang us and told us they had found a body, but we don't know much more," said Catriona today.
"If it is Daniel it will at least be an end to our search and we can finally get him back, but it will obviously be very sad as well. We will have to wait and see now."
Daniel's family have been campaigning for information to lead them to his body ever since he vanished. They have also carried out constant searches of areas around Finglas and Blanchardstown in the hope of finding the tragic teen.
At a recent launch of a Crimestoppers appeal which announced a €10,000 reward for information into Daniel's disappearance, his family told the Herald how he had planned to meet a girl on the night he disappeared.
The 17-year-old from Finglas had gone to the Whitestown area of Blanchardstown with a pal to meet two girls, but Daniel has not been seen since.
His heartbroken sisters and aunts said they fear the worst had happened to their happy-go-lucky brother and nephew.
"Daniel loved his music, his friends and his family. He's the one who would be down on the floor playing with his little nieces and nephews," said his aunt Sabrina.
"He was a jolly lad, and loved playing football -- just like any fella his age."
When last seen Daniel was wearing a navy jacket with a hoody, navy three-stripe Adidas tracksuit bottoms and white runners.
Gardai will today be examining the remains found yesterday to determine if any clothing fragments match the clothes Daniel was wearing.