Napa Bones Identified As Brothers Missing Since 2014 Wildfire

NAPA, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say bones found last year on a remote Napa County hillside belonged to two Santa Rosa brothers reported missing in 2014.

Napa County Sheriff’s Capt. Keith Behlmer says DNA testing confirmed the remains belonged to 31-year-old Mario Avendano and 45-year-old Florentino Avendano.

The San Rosa Press Democrat reports Tuesday ( investigators suspect the Santa Rosa brothers may have died after being trapped by a July 2014 wildfire that burned almost 2 square miles.

The remains were found by a search team last year in a hillside in northern Napa County after a person walking in the area called to report spotting a human skull.

Behlmer says a Chico State University anthropologist confirmed the identities and family members were informed this week.

The Avendano brothers had last been seen by family in June 2014 and missing person reports were filed with Santa Rosa police in early January 2015.

During the investigation, information developed that someone may have given the brothers a ride to the Butts Canyon Road area sometime prior to the fire, Behlmer said.

It remains unknown what the brothers were doing in the remote, rural area, Behlmer said. But law enforcement officials know it to be an area where illegally grown marijuana has been found.

© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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