Friends and family of Brandon Crisp are struggling to come to terms with the idea that a body discovered yesterday could belong to the Barrie boy, who went missing on Thanksgiving Monday.

They hope an autopsy scheduled for Friday will shed light on what happened to 15-year-old Crisp. Police also require the pathology test results before they can positively confirm the identity of the body.

Hunters found the body of a youth northeast of Barrie on Wednesday, just a few kilometres from the place where he was last seen. At this point, foul play is not suspected, but police have not ruled it out.

Hundreds of members of the community had joined in the search for Crisp following his disappearance, which was sparked by an argument with his parents over how much he played his favourite video game.

A Facebook group has been set up in his memory, and students at his school -- St. Joseph's High School -- have set up candles, photos, flowers and a condolence book outside their school chapel.

About 1,000 students held a communal prayer for Crisp after learning of the body's discovery on Wednesday.

"It was a very, very difficult afternoon," said Matt McCann, the school's principal. "That comes like a real blow after waiting this amount of time.

"We've been promoting that whole hope idea. It's been very difficult."

With files from The Canadian Press