A man came across human remains when he searched for deer antlers in a wooded area of Missouri.
On Dec. 22, the remains found were sent to a forensic odonatologist who confirms they were of David Koenig, according to a Monday, Dec. 27 news release from the Branson Police Department.
Koenig was an amateur mixed martial arts fighter. According to the Springfield News-Leader. The family says he was last seen in February 2020 and believed he was staying at the Branson motel.
Police said the investigation into his disappearance began in March 2020, and several area agencies conducted multiple searches.
“Our department and the amazing group of volunteers never stopped in our efforts to find Mr. Koenig,” Branson Police Chief Jeff Mathews. “While this is not the ending we hoped for, we offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Koenig.”
Mathews says a forensic pathologist determined Koenigs death, and it does not appear to be foul play. No evidence of trauma was found, and his cause of death was not yet released.
On a Facebook page named “David Koenig Search Party,” a post requested privacy for the family.
“We are in pain,” the post says. “We need time, and we need some peace right now. Please and thank you for your prayers.
In a statement to CNN, Tracey Koeing, David’s mother, said she feared her son had been killed but that it was still hard to learn that he had died alone.
“We are just heartbroken,” she said. “And although David has been missing for 22 months, it doesn’t make it any easier. What we are feeling now is just indescribable pain.”
Assistant Police Chief Eric Schmitt told CNN affiliate KYTV in Spring field that he’s “hoping that this helps ease a little of the burden.”
Koeing’s mom said, “he lived like a rockstar” and was everyone’s friend.