SHELBY COUNTY, KY (WAVE) – Investigators are trying to find out what happened to a Colorado man whose remains found in Shelby County, KY.
The remains of Timothy J. Stites, of Colorado Springs, CO, were discovered in a remote area in the southeast part of the county on Feb. 1, 2017, according to Detective Mark Moore of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.
Investigators say DNA confirmed his identity.
“The DNA was filed in July and we had a positive hit August the 9th, the remains coming back as one Timothy J. Stites,” Jeff Ives, Chief Deputy Coroner for Shelby County, said.
Stites' sister reported him missing in August of 2016 when she hadn’t heard from her brother in a month.
Moore said the last time his sister had talked to him on the phone she said he was in Louisville. Now, investigators are asking for help to find out why he was in the Louisville and Shelby County area.
Investigators said Stites had last posted to his social media accounts in June of 2016. He was from Colorado Springs but had family in a suburb of Atlanta, GA.
Officials confirmed Stites traveled for work, where he did construction for storage units and pole barns, but they do not know why he was in the area.
“We don’t have any idea of what happened to Mr. Stites and why he was in Shelby County,” Moore said.
Stites' remains were uncovered by investigators in February of 2017 after a dog found his skull and brought it back to his owner. The rest of the remains were located in a remote, wooded area off Samples Lane.
Investigators said they don’t know how long Stites' body was out there in the woods or how he died. His bones did not indicate any trauma. The identification of his body was only possible through DNA.
“If it was several years ago and the DNA technology had not come into the point it is now, we may still not know who this person is,” Moore said. “Technology’s brought us a long way.”
But now, police need help from the public, from anyone who may have known Stites or seen something suspicious. Investigators said they’ll be holding onto the remains until they’re closer to solving this mystery.
"Of course, our condolences go out to the family. We understand that through this investigation, it has maybe closed the door on what happened to their loved one. Now, hopefully the door is opening into determining why he was here in Shelby County, Kentucky," Moore said. "We desperately need your help to try and determine why Mr. Stites was here and what happened to him."
Anyone with information about what happened to Stites or why he was in Shelby County is asked to call the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office at (502) 633-4324.