Officials with the San Augustine County Sheriff's
Office received verbal confirmation from the Texas Rangers regarding the
identity of the Nacogdoches County man whose skeletal remains were found in a
densely wooded area in October 2012 earlier this year.
Chief Gary Cunningham of the San Augustine Sheriff's
Office said that, according to the Texas Rangers, the remains are those of a
Nacogdoches County man named Michael Wheeler.
According to the National Missing and Unidentified
Persons System Web site located at www.findthemissing,org,
the man's full name was Michael Edwin Wheeler. The Web site stated that Wheeler
was 34 when he was last seen on June 8, 2003.
The entry for Wheeler states," Michael was last seen
at approximately 4:00 a.m. at his residence in the vicinity of County Rd. 780
in Douglass, TX. He was very distraught when he left his residence. The vehicle
Wheeler was driving was found in a wooded area in San Augustine County without
"This is the same person that we've suspected all
along, based on the physical evidence we found at the scene," Cunningham said.
Cunningham said the cause of Wheeler's death is
unknown at this time and is still under investigation. He said there were no
obvious signs of any trauma to the skeletal remains that were located.
A logging crew discovered
the remains in a densely wooded area off County Road 336 in San Augustine on
Oct. 8, 2012. After investigators arrived on the scene, they sent photos of the
skeletal remains to a forensic anthropologist, who confirmed that the bones
were that of a human male.
In a previous
interview, Cunningham said the remnants of
clothing found near the man's remains were in such a state of deterioration
that it indicated the body had been there for years. In addition, family
members of the missing Nacogdoches County man confirmed that some of the
evidence found at the scene belonged to him.
The remains were then
boxed and shipped to a forensic facility in North Texas in hopes of determining
the cause of death and the person's identity. Cunningham said Wheeler's vehicle
was located in the same part of San Augustine County shortly after he went
missing. It was removed from the area by some of Wheeler's family members, he
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Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:48:48 GMT
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