MAPLETON, Ore. (KMTR) -- The Lane County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) has hit a major break in a cold case missing person investigation they now believe in a homicide.
The Lane County Sheriff’s Office just identified the remains of a man they found nearly a year ago, saying they belong to a Springfield / Glenwood area man named Roy Vernon Mathews.
Investigators say Mathews disappeared in 2005 at the age of 54. Back in January 2012, a Roseburg Lumber logging crew working near Mapleton found Mathews' remains. Investigators say his bones were scattered across a property near Milepost 7 on Siuslaw River Road. The 45-mile road runs between Mapleton and Lorraine.
Judging by the location where the remains were found, LCSO believes he was killed and left on the side of a steep hill. The Sheriff’s Office was able to identify Mathew’s remains through DNA testing. His DNA was on file with the state because he served a prison sentence for sex crimes against children.
Investigators are now trying to talk to people who knew Mathews between when he was let out of prison in 1996 and 2005 when he disappeared. For those nine years, the Sheriff’s Office says relatively little is known about Mathews.
“We don't know if he held down a job. We really don't know if he ever had a long-term residence. We kind of have this impression that maybe he was sort of a couch surfer or moved from place to place, but those are all details that we haven't been able to nail down. We haven't been able to find anybody who's been able to tell us what was going on in his life,” said Sergeant Cliff Harrold, a detective with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office.
Mathews was originally reported missing in Springfield. If you have any information on the case, call Lane County Sheriff’s Office detective Aaron Hoberg at 541 682-4312.