Remains found at Hueston Woods confirmed to be Michael McKenney, missing Fairfield Twp. man

DNA testing has confirmed human remains found in December just outside of Hueston Woods State Park in Preble County are those of a Fairfield Twp. man who was missing for more than two years.

Michael Allen McKenney was reported missing in June 2020, according to police. Fairfield Twp. Police conducted an investigation into the whereabouts of the then-28-year-old.

Private and public entities had conducted searches in and around the state park over the past two years after McKenney’s car was found in the parking lot just days after he went missing.

On Dec. 7, 2022 search teams from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Christian Aid Ministries nonprofit group searched some areas that had not been checked previously around Hueston Woods, and remains were located in a remote area on a farm about a mile from where McKenney’s car was found, according to Fairfield Twp. Police Sgt. Brandon McCroskey.

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On Wednesday, following DNA testing at the direction of the Preble County Coroner’s Office, McCroskey confirmed the remains are McKenney. The cause of death is undetermined, but McCroskey said there is no reason to believe foul play was involved.

Evidence was found with the skeletal remains that strongly suggest it was McKenney, investigators said in December. McCroskey said then officers were not looking for anyone else, such as suspects, related to the case.

On Wednesday, McCroskey said “based on our investigation there is no evidence of foul play involved and we are not looking for any suspects.”

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McKenney’s mother, Yalonda Middleton said via social media, “R.I.P. My Sweet Boy.”

Middleton said after talking with the coroner’s investigator she went outside and removed her son’s missing sign from the yard.

“This is so hard,” she said.

Middleton told the Journal-News in past interviews that she would never stop searching for her son. She hired a private investigator and had online fundraisers to raise money for a reward.

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