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Human remains found confirmed to be those of Evan Mueller

Jessica Ussher

Investigative Journalist Intern

*This story has been updated since press time when the identity of remains had not been confirmed.

On Oct. 21, the San Diego Sheriff's Department, with at least one dog, conducted a Search and Rescue (SAR) operation for 34-year-old missing person Evan Mueller. Mueller was last seen at his home in Fallbrook, allegedly on the 13th of September 2022, one day after his 34th birthday.

Sargent Rich George, coordinator for the San Diego Sheriff's Search and Rescue team, confirmed that human remains were found Saturday, Oct. 21. However, the identity had not been confirmed until Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. A medical examiner arrived on the scene to investigate and take control of the remains.

According to Evan Mueller's mother, April Graham, the medical examiner was able to verify the skull was Evan's by his dental records.

The remains, which were mostly skeletal, including a skull, were found in a ravine area near Vista Del Lago Drive, in Fallbrook. Sargent George stated that "it is a miracle that the remains were found where they were," as the area is highly vegetative, and the terrain is difficult to access due to populous poison oak.

According to Graham, not all of the remains were located and they don't know the cause of death. She said because of the condition of the remains, they may never determine the cause of death.

The SAR team recovered the remains on foot, despite the steepness of the surrounding area. Clothes were also found in the search area. It has not been confirmed whether the clothing belonged to Evan Mueller.

This SAR operation expands on previous searches for Mueller. In 2022, after his disappearance, searches were conducted by volunteers and the San Diego County Sheriff.

A year ago, dogs were reported to have followed Mueller's scent down to the Santa Margarita River and the surrounding area of the property. It has not been confirmed if the interior of Mueller's home had ever been searched.

Mueller's family continued to look for him and didn't believe that he would have just left and not contacted any of them.

If anyone has information about the Evan Mueller case, his family is asking them to please call 425-286-7827.

 

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