Jake Wilson was last seen April 7, go for a walk near his home in La Porte City, Iowa.
(La Porte City Police Department)
Authorities in Iowa said Thursday that they believe they have recovered the remains of a 16-year-old autistic boy who was last seen in April.
At a press conference, police said the remains were discovered Tuesday by the kayakers in an area that was searched by authorities looking for Jake Wilson.
Wilson had said that he would go for a walk along Wolf Creek, which winds through La Porte City, a town of approximately 2,300 people in the northeast of the state. His family said he didn’t have his glasses on at the time, and that he has the mental capacity of a 9-year-old boy.
La Porte City Police Chief Chris Brecher told reporters that tests showed the remains are “in accordance with what we find.” He said that researchers were not yet in a position to determine whether foul play was involved.
Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson said the creek water had receded dramatically since the spring, which paved the way for the discovery. He said additional searches and tests were conducted and urged kayakers to stay out of the creek in the next few days.
The boy’s disappearance had prompted a search involving the FBI, state and local police, and hundreds of volunteers. Wilson’s smiling face was plastered on missing posters across the region, and his family described Jake as a gentle lover of nature, who simply never came home from a walk one day in the spring.
The discovery comes amid a massive search for missing student Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared from the small town of Brooklyn, Iowa, on July 18. Thompson noted that the Tibbetts case has renewed interest in the fate of Wilson and the other missing Iowa residents in the past few weeks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.