Skeletal remains that were found in Joshua Tree National Park last month have been identified as 51-year-old Paul Miller, a Canadian man who went missing in 2018, according to officials.
The remains, along with personal items belonging to Miller, were found on December 20 in a remote part of the Fortynine Palms Canyon area, the National Park Service (NPS) said in a press release.
The San Bernardino County coroner confirmed this week that the remains belonged to Miller using dental comparison but did not provide the cause of death.
Miller went missing in July 2018 while he and his wife, Stephanie Miller, were on a vacation to celebrate their 26th anniversary, according to Find Paul Miller, an organized mission by family and friends to help find the missing man.
He was last seen on the Fortynine Palms Oasis Trail, where he was heading out for a hike on July 13. His wife reported him missing after he never returned to their hotel.
No clues to Miller’s whereabouts were found, despite a five day search led by Joshua Tree National Park and a large-scale search and rescue mission involving multiple agencies.
Miller’s family from Guelph, Canada made several trips back to California to search for him during the time that he was missing, according to reporting from CNN affiliate CTV. Family members told CTV that they now realized in the initial search they were only 15 feet from where Paul died.
“He still had water in his pack. He still had food in his pack. So whatever happened, happened quickly,” Stephanie told CTV.
By Alaa Elassar, CNN