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Remains found identified as missing Bannock County man

by | Dec 7, 2023 | Newsroom, Sheriff Press Releases

BANNOCK COUNTY, Idaho – The Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, Bannock County Coroner’s Office, and Idaho State Police Forensic Services have confirmed remains found earlier this year belong to a local missing person, Michael Winward. 

On May 5, 2023, searchers with the Sheriff’s Office found partial skeletal remains in Bannock County. The remains were found on a property adjacent to Winward’s, which is located on Treaty Highway north of Fort Hall. 

A driver’s license and credit cards belonging to Michael Winward were found with the remains. The 86-year-old man had been missing since October 2, 2022. 

The remains were sent to the Idaho State Police Forensic Lab for testing. DNA testing matched Winward’s profile with very high certainty. 

As with all unattended deaths, an autopsy is being conducted. No foul play is suspected. 

“This was not the outcome we hoped for when Michael went missing. We know this news will be painful for all who loved Michael, but we are thankful his family has answers now,” said Tony Manu, Bannock County Sheriff. 

Sheriff Manu also expressed his gratitude to the community for their help and support in the search for Winward. 

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