Skeletal remains found in Klickitat County

On the afternoon of 5-21-22, a hiker called Klickitat County Dispatch to report that he discovered skeletal remains in remote rangeland about two miles east of John Day Dam. 

Detectives with the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office immediately launched a death investigation, which continued through 5-22-22. The WSP Crime Laboratory’s Crime Scene Response Team and the Klickitat County Prosecutor/Coroner’s Office assisted in the investigation.

The remains have been tentatively identified as Matthew J. Palmer of The Dalles, Oregon. Palmer was reported missing to The Dalles City Police in February 2020. He was 26 years old at the time of his disappearance.

A forensic pathologist will further examine the remains at the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office. The official cause and manner of death are pending, but it does not appear that the death was the result of homicidal violence.

The investigation is ongoing.

Sheriff Songer would like to thank the lead detective in this case, Sergeant Erik Anderson, as well as recognize the hard work put in by Detective Robert Bianchi, Reserve Deputy Ken Clinton, and Posse Lieutenant Richard Flynn.