“There was some evidence found there that would strongly suggest that it is him, but of course we will await DNA and other confirmation,” McCroskey said. He said officers are not currently looking for anyone else, such as suspects, related to the case. It will be up to a coroner to determine the cause and manner of death.
The Preble County Coroner’s Office has taken possession of the remains and an autopsy will be performed at the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
McKenney’s mother, Yalonda Middleton told the Journal-News in past interviews that she would never stop searching for her son. She hired a private investigator and had online fundraisers to raise money for a reward.
“She (Middleton) was holding on to hope he was alive,” McCroskey said. “Our hope is obviously that the family get some comfort especially right before the holidays ... they will have him home.”
On Thursday Middleton told the Journal-News, “To anyone that has a missing loved one, never give up.”
News of the discovery of human remains in the area hit home for a Hamilton mother, Debbie Winkler Estes, who has been searching for her son nearly 12 years.
William “Billy” DiSilvestro, 28, vanished without a trace and despite multiple searches in several locations and tips, he has not been found.
It was bitter cold during the early morning hours of Feb. 7, 2011, when DiSilvestro, known to friends as “Billy D,” left a Rossville neighborhood house after a party and was never seen again. He left his phone at a friend’s house and had no money.
“At this point, I just want my son. I don’t care what happened. Who did what. I don’t care about about that, I just want my kid,” Estes said last year on the 11th anniversary of her son’s disappearance.
The case remains open and is being investigated by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.
Estes said emotions came welling up Wednesday, bringing out tears, but she knows it may be the beginning of some answers for the McKenney’s family.
“My heart is so full of emotions, it is a good thing to find him, but in all it is all bad ... sad ... brings reality to this nightmare they have been living,” Estes said. “I hope for some kind of peace and closure, and maybe finding out what might happened will ease them in some way.”