The remains of a man missing in the US since 2013 have been fully recovered, bringing closure to his family after a decade of waiting.
Army veteran Donald “Donnie” Erwin, went missing on December 29, 2013, after he left his Missouri home to go buy cigarettes and never returned.
Nearly 10 years later, on December 16, 2023, a property owner contacted the local sheriff’s office to notify them that a car had been found at the bottom of their pond.
A freelance videographer had been using a drone over the property to search for Erwin’s remains when they found the car.
They contacted the property owner with their discovery.
Later that day, Camden County deputies and a dive crew went to the pond to investigate.
There, they matched the license plate to Erwin’s missing Hyundai Elantra.
The car was removed from the pond that day and Erwin’s family was notified.
On December 24, detectives and cadaver dogs returned to the pond to search for human remains.
Divers recovered partial remains and an artificial hip consistent with one Erwin had.
Detectives believed there were more remains in the pond but needed to drain it to search effectively.
Due to heavy snow and wet weather at the time, the ground was too soft and they couldn’t bring heavy draining equipment in.
But last Friday, the ground was dry enough and the pond got drained.
During the search, the sheriff’s office said they recovered “what [they] believe to be the rest of Mr. Erwin’s remains” and his family was notified.
“It has taken ten years to recover Mr. Erwin’s remains,” the sheriff’s office said.
“And it would not have been possible without the hundreds of law enforcement officers, firefighters, and volunteers who helped conduct searches all over the country.
“Mr. Erwin’s family has been through a lot, waiting to hear any news of his disappearance.”