- Associated Press - Friday, October 24, 2014

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Human remains found in western South Dakota’s Lawrence County last week have been identified as those of a man whose disappearance 14 years ago prompted searches in three states.

The remains are those of David F. Johnson, a retired dentist from Buffalo, Wyoming, who was reported missing on June 5, 2000, according to the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department. His pickup truck was found five days later in the northern Black Hills.

Foul play is not suspected in Johnson’s death. He was 70 years old and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease at the time. His disappearance prompted a search in parts of Wyoming, South Dakota and Minnesota.

“There was a tremendous effort put forth to find him back in 2000,” Chief Deputy Paul Hansen told the Rapid City Journal. “Search and rescue, deputies, fire department, Civil Air Patrol, almost all the emergency services personnel from every entity - Deadwood, Lead, Whitewood and Spearfish. There were a lot of people who worked together to find him. Now we can take him home and lay him to rest.”

The remains were found Oct. 16 by two people who were working on trees in the area. Authorities used dental records to identify the remains.

“I wish we had found him for the family and it hadn’t taken 14 years, so you don’t wonder forever what happened,” Hansen said.

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