Body of missing motorcyclist found off highway in St. Pete

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The body of a missing motorcyclist was found in the bushes along Interstate 275 this morning, Florida Highway Patrol troopers said. 

According to FHP, two highway workers picking up trash along the side of the highway found the body north of 54th Avenue S. just before 11 a.m. Pieces of a motorcycle were also found.

Troopers later confirmed the crash victim was, in fact, 27-year-old motorcyclist Jimmy Butler, who had been missing for more than a week. They believe he veered off the interstate "for unknown reasons" on November 18, crashed into the trees, and came to rest about 50 feet from the roadway.

Butler's family had been looking for him since he failed to show up at an event, even skipping their Thanksgiving meal and hiring a helicopter to help with the search.

They confirmed the news in a gut-wrenching Facebook message.

"May he be in peace with my parents who never got to meet him," their post said, in part. "Please keep his daughter, his three sisters in your prayers as they struggle to deal with this loss. Please remember what a joyous boy he was and how he grew into such a wonderful and loving man."