WARREN COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Human remains pulled out of the Missouri River Sunday are believed to be Nate Ashby, who went missing in July, the Warren County Sheriff’s Department said.
Ashby’s sister, Rebecca Diller, told News 4 that her brother disappeared with his phone and truck on July 31.
“The phone pinged down on Bernheimer Road and the Missouri River,” Diller said.
In August, The Marthasville Fire Department found an extended cab truck in the Missouri River near the Old Boat Club, near Treloar, while using sonar imaging. Due to the depth and strong river currents, investigators were unable to put divers in the water.
The Warren County Sheriff’s Department said they spoke weekly with Marthasville Fire Department about river levels and risk assessment for a possible recovery.
In November, Ashby’s family was contacted by a dive search team from outside Missouri offering to help. The family put this dive team in contact with the Warren County Sheriff’s Department.
The sheriff’s department coordinated with Adventures with Purpose Search Team out of Colorado and Team Watters Sonar Search and Rescue of Illinois about recovery efforts for the truck.
They decided to do the recovery on Dec. 29. It took nine hours to remove the truck from the river. It was about 25 feet underwater and about 150 yards from the ramp, the sheriff’s department said.
They did recover human remains in the truck. Law enforcement said the clothing was the same as what the family said Ashby was wearing when he was last seen.
However, positive identification can’t be made until DNA testing is done.
The Warren County Sheriff’s Department said the river level rose two feet during the nine hour operation.
“[Jared] Leisek [with Adventures with Purpose Search Team] stated it was probably the most difficult and dangerous operations he had conducted due to the force of the Missouri River currents. He was also surprised at how quickly the conditions began to deteriorate while he was in the water,” the sheriff’s department said in a Facebook post.