Police are seeking answers in the death of a 15-year-old boy whose body was found in a wooded area near his high school Friday morning.

Students found Tyler Little's body around 9:30 a.m. in the woods northeast of Moira Secondary School, where Little was a student.

The school was locked down Friday morning as police investigated.

"It was a group of students that did locate the body," said Belleville police Sgt. Beth Harder.

Little had not been seen since Tuesday, Harder said. Police were told he was frequenting a tent in the woods.

He was reported missing by his parents at 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

Police began searching for him immediately and found the tent and some personal effects, but no sign of the boy.

"We did the search as best that we could, given the circumstances, and we called it off at about 1:30 to wait until daylight," Harder said.

"We hadn't even been able to confirm that he was even there."

Officers were searching the area on foot and preparing to use all-terrain vehicles and "all the resources that we have available to us" when the students made the discovery, she said.

A group of about six students were seen walking single-file out of the woods and across a snow-covered field to police shortly afterward. All appeared solemn and said little as they stood with police before being driven from the scene in a black SUV.

"This wooded area is familiar to the students, so they know the area very well," Harder said.

"We were just preparing for the secondary ground search when we received the information that he had been found.

"We are treating this as a serious occurrence as we would any reported missing person found under these circumstances," she said.

When asked if police suspected foul play, Harder said police "cannot speculate as to the cause of death" until a post-mortem examination has been performed.

The exam is scheduled for Sunday in Toronto.

With files from the Canadian Press and the Belleville Intelligencer