A car pulled from a Miami County lake last week contained the remains of a man missing since 1992, authorities announced Tuesday.
An autopsy identified him as Fremont O’Berg, a resident of rural Paola, Kan., who vanished more than 23 years ago. The 1981 Chevrolet Citation found in Hillsdale Lake had been registered to him.
After O’Berg disappeared at age 57, authorities conducted searches across Miami County, including at Hillsdale Lake and other bodies of water. Hillsdale Lake is in northern Miami County, between Spring Hill and Paola.
An angler recently fishing the lake with underwater sonar equipment detected what appeared to be a submerged vehicle about 40 yards from the lake’s Jayhawker boat ramp.
On Thursday, representatives of the Miami County sheriff’s office, the Osawatomie Fire Department and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism pulled the car from the water. O’Berg’s remains were in the driver’s seat.
Information circulated after O’Berg’s January 1992 disappearance noted that he had heart and liver issues as well as acute bronchitis.
“Our father's recovery answers many questions and is bringing much needed closure for our family,” members of O’Berg’s family said in a statement released by the sheriff’s office.
“We are fully confident that the Miami County sheriff will continue to see this case through to its completion.”
Family members thanked those who located and retrieved O’Berg’s remains for their “support and professionalism.”
According to the Miami County sheriff’s office, the case remains under investigation.