A group of hunters have found a body believed to be that of Korey Kauffman, a Turlocker who disappeared in 2012.
The remains were found on Aug. 19, by hunters in the Stanislaus National Forest. The local Sheriff's Department recovered the remains.
An autopsy determined the body to be that of a white male adult in his early- to mid-twenties. Other evidence at the scene pointed to the body being Kauffman's.
The cause of death has been determined to be “suspicious,” the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department said.
Kauffman was last seen by his family at 11 p.m. March 29, 2012, in the 1300 block of Lander Ave. As recently as June 13 his mother, Terri Richardson, was still holding out hope he'd be found safe and sound.
“I have not given up on my son,” she posted to Facebook. “… Just need a break for a bit, the anxiety has been too much.”
The day before Kauffman disappeared, a man allegedly threatened his life. After an argument about money, the man allegedly chased him in a car and tried to run him over, before saying “when I catch you I'll cut you ear to ear.”
Authorities said at the time that they had interviewed the man “extensively,” and that he was not a suspect.
He left home the next day to visit a friend in the 800 block of Ninth Street, but then left his friend's house shortly thereafter saying he would be right back. He never returned.
According to his family, Kauffman was not the type of person to simply leave without telling people where he was going. They believed he was the victim of foul play, potentially because he supported himself by scrapping metal, much of it stolen from local businesses.
Kauffman was 5-foot-11. He weighed approximately 160 pounds and had blue eyes and blonde hair. His arms were covered with tattoos of skulls. Kauffman was wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans, and brown work boots at the time of his disappearance.
“I love you Korey,” Richardson posted to Facebook in 2012. “I will find you, I promise I will not leave this Earth 'till I find you! I need to know where you are, no matter what God, please give me my boy so I can lay him to rest.”
Detectives are asking anyone with information about Kauffman's disappearance to cone forward. Those with information can call Det. Cory Brown at (209) 567-4485 or leave an anonymous tip by calling (209) 521-4636.