CAMDENTON, Mo. (KMIZ)
Camden County detectives are believed to have found the remains of Donnie Erwin, who was pronounced missing in December 2013.
On Saturday Camden County authorities and cadaver dogs searched the pond where Erwin's car was found. The lost car was initially discovered on Dec. 16 by a freelance videographer who was looking for Erwin.
James Hinkle is the owner of Sounds Like Video; he's a freelance videographer and drone pilot who runs a YouTube channel called Echo Divers. Hinkle is working with Beyond the Case and a behavioral analyst to conduct an independent investigation into Erwin's disappearance.
Hinkle was searching the area for anything related to Erwin and thought he saw a car submerged in a small pond on private property.
According to a press release from the Camden County Sheriff's office, cadaver dogs alerted to the presence of human remains in the pond.
Detectives returned to the area after the divers from Mid County Fire Protection searched on Dec. 16. Divers searched the pond again after being alerted by the cadaver dogs and recovered an artificial hip similar to what Erwin had. The remains will be examined by a forensic pathologist to determine if it is Donnie Erwin.
ABC 17 News spoke with James Hinkle after the remains were discovered and he said he is happy the family will be getting closure after 10 years.
"This is the first Christmas morning that they wake up and they know where their missing person is," Hinkle said. "They're not they're no longer a family with a missing person. So my emotions are just are just I'm pleased for them that they have finally have this closure."
Donnie Erwin's family has been notified of the sheriff's department's findings. Erwin's sister, Yvonne Erwin-Bowen wrote in in a Facebook post "What a special Christmas this is. Even though you're not with us, we know where you are now and we can rejoice because of it."
Investigators are still working on the case and will continue to search the surrounding area.