A Kansas man who was missing for 23 years was found dead late last week. Authorities confirmed Fremont O’Berg’s remains were found inside his 1981 Chevrolet Citation — which was discovered on the bottom of Hillsdale Lake. Although the cause of death remains a mystery, authorities do not suspect foul play.
Fremont O’Berg vanished without a trace on July 6, 1992. According to reports, he was last seen driving his navy blue Chevrolet Citation.
Authorities conducted a thorough search of Miami County and several adjoining communities. However, the 57-year-old man remained missing for 23 years.
As reported by KMBC, O’Berg’s vehicle was initially spotted by fisherman Tim Leeper. On March 17, Leeper saw something unusual on his sonar device — which is used to locate schools of fish.
After reviewing the screenshot, the fisherman became convinced the unusual object was a submerged vehicle. He immediately contacted the Kansas Department of Fish and Wildlife Department.
Four days later, Johnson County Fire District #2 and Osawatomie Dive Team worked together to pull the 1981 Chevrolet Citation out of Hillsdale Lake. The remains of the man who was missing for 23 years were found inside.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 27, 2015
A preliminary autopsy confirmed Fremont O’Berg’s identity. However, his cause of death has not been determined. As reported by CBS, O’Berg suffered with heart disease and acute bronchitis — which may have been a factor.
Undersheriff Wayne Minckley said a medical examiner checked the remains for signs of traumatic injury. However, “that’s going to be difficult to tell because of the decomposition.” Minckley said it would be nearly impossible to determine whether O’Berg drove into the lake intentionally or if his vehicle simply “rolled into the water” amid a medical emergency.
In an official statement, O’Berg’s family thanked local authorities and search and rescue teams for their ongoing “support and professionalism.” The family said the discovery “answers many questions and is bringing needed closure.”
Man was 57 when he went missing in 1992 found him still buckle up in the seatbelt & the bottom of a lake, he was under water for 23 years
— BGMBFO$ (@LocksOverWaves) May 27, 2015
Although the investigation is not complete, Fremont O’Berg’s family said they are confident the Miami County Sheriff’s Department will resolve the case.
It is heartbreaking that the man who was missing for 23 years was found dead. However, Fremont O’Berg’s family is happy to have some degree of closure.
[Image via KansasCity.com]