Human remains found in Macoupin County identified as missing Shipman man

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MACOUPIN COUNTY, IL (KPLR) - Authorities in Macoupin County have finally identified the remains of a man missing since early 2012 thanks to a DNA match with his birth mother.  Joseph Wilson's relatives said he had developmental disabilities.

Macoupin County authorities describe the case as a homicide investigation. Wilson's skeletal remains were found in a creek bed not far from Royal Lakes Village where he grew up. Teenagers, on a school holiday, discovered the bones in a rural area off Route 159 and North of Bunker Hill. A relative had reported him missing in April 2012 after he failed to show up for his aunt's funeral.

His cousin, Sonya Walker said at the time he was staying in Springfield with her brother. "He was happy doing what he wanted to do and that's what I wanted him to do.” He was adopted by his aunt as a baby when his mother was unable to care for him.

Sheriff Shawn Kahl was involved in the investigation as a detective in 2012. Officers learned Wilson’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) checks were being sent to a relative's house and being cashed after his disappearance. "That was the reason we kind of suspected foul play at that point in time, "said Kahl. However there was no sign of Wilson until the skeleton was found this year. At that point the local Major Case Squad was activated. Officers expect to complete the Major Case Squad reports within a week. At that point the sheriff plans to take the information to the Macoupin County State's Attorney in hopes of winning a criminal charge against a "man of interest.”

Sheriff Kahl described Wilson as a very nice gentleman. "He was kind of dependent on his family and he trusted his family."