- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Police in Knoxville have confirmed that remains found last week in a waterway belong to a man reported missing nearly four years ago.

Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk told the Knoxville News Sentinel (https://bit.ly/1g0Hegx) on Tuesday that dental records confirmed the remains belonged to 19-year-old Derek Funk. His cause of death hasn’t yet been determined.

Funk’s family reported him missing in 2010 after he didn’t return home from a friend’s house.

Police divers discovered the remains Friday next to a 1996 Ford Ranger pickup that was pulled from the water near the James C. Ford Memorial Bridge in South Knoxville. Police determined then that the pickup was the same one driven by Funk the last time he was seen. The truck was upside down and about 20 feet from the shoreline.

Funk’s family said the discovery has brought them some closure.

“That’s what we prayed for,” said his father, Kevin Funk. “That God would bring him home, alive or dead. And he’s done that.”

The scene where the teen was found is less than 2 miles from his home. His family tried to keep his disappearance in the public mind over the years, passing out fliers and offering a $10,000 reward for information on his whereabouts.

“When they found his truck and found the remains … both my wife and I, in our hearts, pretty well knew it was Derek,” Funk said. “Of course, now that we know, it’s a different grieving process.”

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Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, https://www.knoxnews.com

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