JONESPORT — State police say they believe human remains found May 21 off Route 187 in Jonesport are those of 43-year-old William Merchant.
Merchant was last seen July 4, 2019, in the Jonesport area. He was reported missing a few days later on July 8. State police, Washington County Sheriff’s deputies and the Warden Service have been attempting to locate Merchant since he was reported missing.
The remains were found near Wilders Way during a search that included police dogs and members of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Maine Warden Service, state police and community volunteers.
An autopsy was conducted at the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta last Friday.
“No determination was made on the cause of the death because of the condition of the remains,” according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. “However, detectives say there was no evidence of foul play.”
McCausland said the state police DNA lab will work to positively identify the remains, but items found on the body indicate it is Merchant.
Deputy Jim Malloy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department and state police Detective Chad Lindsey have headed up the investigation.