The rest of a missing Missouri man’s remains were recovered Friday in a pond in southern Camden County, the sheriff’s office said.
Donald “Donnie” Erwin went missing 10 years ago after leaving his home in Camdenton, about 150 miles southeast of Kansas City. He told his wife on Dec. 29, 2013, that he was going to the store for cigarettes and never returned, the sheriff’s office said.
There was no sign of Erwin and authorities had no leads on his disappearance for nearly a decade. Then, they said, a videographer helped make a “major break” in the case by flying a drone over land in Camden County and discovering a car in a pond.
A property owner contacted the Camden County Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 16, 2023, about the car found at the bottom of their pond. Deputies and a dive team responded and recovered the car, which had a license plate matching Erwin’s missing Hyundai Elantra.
Detectives and cadaver dogs found partial remains at the pond on Dec. 24, 2023. At that time, the sheriff’s office said it believed more remains were in the pond, but snow and ice made the ground unsafe to bring large equipment in to drain it.
Crews came back to drain the pond Feb. 9, and found what they believe to be the rest of Erwin’s remains.
“It has taken ten years to recover Mr. Erwin’s remains, and it would not have been possible without the hundreds of law enforcement officers, firefighters, and volunteers who helped conduct searches all over the country,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.