Saturday, 18 May 2024

Authorities identify human remains found near Willits in 2021

NORTH COAST, Calif. — The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said human remains found nearly two years ago near Willits have been identified as belonging to a Texas man.

The remains are those of Thaddeus Keegan Bradley, 27, of San Antonio, according to a report from Capt. Greg Van Patten.

On Sept. 20, 2021, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was notified of the presence of human remains underneath Underpass Road at the intersection of North Highway 101 in Willits, California, Van Patten said.

He said a motorist who was traveling through Mendocino County had stopped at the location and located the human remains while walking their dog.

Sheriff's detectives were summoned to the scene and a coroner's investigation was initiated to determine the identity of the human remains and the cause/manner of death, according to the report.

Van Patten said sheriff's detectives collected a DNA sample from the human remains and submitted the sample to the California Department of Justice Jan Bashinski Laboratory in Richmond, California.

On April 11, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the California Department of Justice that a DNA match had been made on the human remains submission, Van Patten said.

He said the DNA analysis identified the human remains as being those of Bradley, who had been living a transient lifestyle prior to death.

His mother reported Bradley missing to the Arcata Police Department in July 2022, Van Patten said.

Van Patten said familial DNA samples were obtained during that time and entered into the National Combined Missing and Unidentified System by the Arcata Police Department.

On April 11, after official identification of Bradley's remains, the coroner's investigation was concluded with his death being classified as an accidental death due to acute methamphetamine toxicity, Van Patten said.

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