Remains discovered in Kane County likely those of missing Hampshire man, coroner says
Human remains discovered last week in Hampshire are believed to be those of missing 72-year-old Walter A. Reimers, the Kane County coroner's office said Monday.
Reimers was last seen Nov. 12. He is believed to have left his Hampshire residence alone and walked 22 minutes to a local gas station to buy cigarettes, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. He left his cellphone at home.
Reimers was captured on video surveillance footage purchasing the cigarettes and leaving the business by himself on foot, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.
Reached by phone Monday, Kane County Coroner Rob Russell said he had no reason to believe the remains did not belong to Reimers. A forensic anthropologist who examined the remains confirmed they belonged to someone in Reimers' age group, Russell said.
Although Reimers' family already has been notified, Russell sent a DNA sample to the Illinois State Police laboratory for testing to confirm the identification, he said.
Authorities had not determined an official cause of death as of Monday, but Russell did not believe Reimers died under suspicious circumstances, noting there were "no overt signs of any violence," he said.
Hampshire police officers discovered the remains Jan. 18, after responding to a report of articles of clothing found near the 200 block of White Oak Street.
As cold winter weather persists, Russell encouraged residents to keep an eye on their elderly neighbors and family.
"Keep a tab on your neighbors who are elderly," Russell said. "Help them out a little bit. Shovel or snow blow their driveway so they don't have to go out there. Be kind."