Human remains in Phelps County believed to be missing 13-year-old

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

PHELPS COUNTY, MO - Police found human remains near Dry Fork Creek on Sunday.   The Phelps County sheriff says they probably belong to Johnathan Shay.  He was a boy with autism missing since July. Foul play is not suspected.

Police got a call about human remains on February 21st.  The investigated the area and returned Monday for a more extensive search.  A release from the Phelps County Sheriff's office says investigators from numerous agencies found more remains Monday.

A tennis shoe found with remains is believed to be a match. Dental records to be used to make positive identification.  Police are still waiting on a forensics match for positive confirmation.

Police and volunteers were searching the area last week for the missing teen. He wandered off with his 11-year-old cousin on July 15th near St. James, Missouri. That was eight months ago.

Searchers have focused their efforts near St. James  from Highway F to the Meramec River many times in the past.  They looked in an area spanning hundreds of acres.  Searchers say the area includes cliffs, caves, creeks and thorn bushes.

His mother told FOX 2 in a report from this summer, "He is off his meds. He might be a little bit paranoid.  He might be thinking people are out there to get him, and he’s just in survival mode.”

Family members told FOX 2 in the past that Shay was attracted to water.

If he survived Shay's 14th birthday would have been last week.  Sheriff Rick Lisenbe said “circumstances surrounding Johnathan’s disappearance and death do not appear to be of a suspicious nature but the investigation is not yet complete.”