WORLAND, Wyoming — Skeletal remains found in Washakie County, Wyoming have been identified as those of a man reported missing from Inkom nearly eight years ago.
Patrick Michael Combs, who would have been 45, was identified using an Idaho driver’s license found in a wallet near the remains, according to a news release from the Washakie County Sheriff’s Office.
Additional confirmation of Combs’ identity is expected “in the future,” the release says, “but we are certain the remains belong to Patrick Michael Combs.” Combs’ next of kin have been notified.
The Washakie County Sheriff’s Office does not believe foul play was involved in Combs’ death.
Bannock County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Alex Hamilton, who was the lead detective working the missing person case, thanked Washakie County and the Worland police for their tireless work in a statement.
“We are grateful for the Washakie County Sheriff’s Office and Worland Police Department’s dedication to helping find Patrick,” Hamilton said. “We will continue to work with them as they complete their investigation. Most of all, we’re glad to offer some closure not only to our office, but to Patrick’s family, who has been missing him for nearly eight years. I am so sorry for their loss.”
Discovery of the remains was reported to the Washakie County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday, when a call was received reporting a skull found off Blue Bank Road, between Worland and Ten Sleep. The callers were tending cattle when they made the discovery.
When Sheriff Austin Brookwell and deputies arrived at the scene, they located “a large number of human bones” “a few yards” from the skull. They had previously found Combs’ Mazda pickup truck nearby during a search in 2017, according to North Wyoming News.
Using GPS data, investigators determined the remains to be 2.1 miles from the truck.
Combs was reported missing in October 2015, the release says. His truck was spotted near Blue Bank Road in 2017 by a pilot flying over the area. The Washakie County Sheriff’s Office had previously conducted searches of the area “a few times,” including using cadaver dog teams, in search of Combs or his remains. They were never able to find him.