Oregon State Police detectives have tentatively identified remains found in Central Oregon as a missing man from the McMinnville area. A detective assisted by two National Guard members found the remains Wednesday afternoon as they searched a section of BLM property east of Redmond.
The detective was searching the remote area about 100-yards southwest of where the missing couple’s motor home was found abandoned about one year ago, OSP Lt. Gregg Hastings wrote in a news release.
The couple, Kenneth W. Miller, 73, and Betty Lou Japel, 69, became the focus of a McMinnville Police Department missing person investigation on May 17 after Gregory Allen Cole, a man they had been traveling with, died of a self-inflicted gunshot after allegedly shooting an Arizona police officer.
|OSP found remains that they believe to be Kenneth Miller, not far from his motorhome that was abandoned about one year ago east of Redmond |
A shallow, partially unearthed gravesite was found and excavated, and the remains of an adult male were found. The body is tentatively identified as Miller, and an autopsy scheduled early next week is expected to confirm identification and perhaps determine the cause of death. On Thursday, police notified Miller’s family of the recent developments.
There was no sign of Miller’s companion, Betty Lou Japel.
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact McMinnville Police Department Sergeant Rhonda Sandoval at (503) 434-6500.