Deputies confirm Johnathan Shay as teen found dead in creek
ROLLA — The Phelps County Sheriff's Department announced Thursday the human remains deputies found last month in the Dry Fork Creek near St. James have positively been identified as those of Johnathan Shay. Shay is the 13-year-old boy with autism who went missing in July.
Sheriff Richard Lisenbe said an extensive examination by a forensic anthropologist and dental records prove the department's suspicions.
"We want to thank the community, law enforcement agencies, search and rescue professionals and Emergency Medical Services for their support of the family and the Sheriff’s department during this trying period," Sheriff Lisenbe said.
He added, "Please continue to pray, support and respect the family during this grieving period."
Shay went missing in July. He was last seen in a home at the 10,000 block of County Road 3470 around 7:30 p.m. July 9 with a friend, 11-year-old Xavier Baylor. A missing person report was filed after officers say the boys walked away from the residence.
[Editor's Note: This story has been corrected with the spelling of Johnathan Shay's name.]