LA PORTE CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Authorities have found the remains of Jake Wilson but asked for patience on a potential criminal investigation of how he died.
DNA confirmed human remains found along Wolf Creek are those of Jake Wilson. Investigators say the state medical examiners office is still investigating the manner of Wilson's death and warned against speculation.
"We still don't have the answers of what happened to Jake Wilson or how he ended up where he did," said Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson.
16-year-old Wilson, who lived with autism and an intellectual disability, was last seen headed to nearby Wolf Creek from his La Porte City home, in April.
Despite an exhaustive search by volunteers and various local and federal agencies over a period of months, the boy’s body wasn’t discovered until kayakers on Wolf Creek spotted the remains August 8th.
"I don't know what we could have done differently that would have changed when mother nature was ready to give him back," said Thompson.
Investigators declined to speculate on the cause or manner of death and asked for patience for the investigation to finish. Investigators would also not say for sure why it took so long to find Wilson's remains despite the exhaustive search along Wolf Creek.
"We may never have those answers and we may have to live with that frustration every time we look his family in the face," Thompson said.
Some of Wilson’s family had already accepted the loss before Wednesday's news conference. The teen’s father, Mike Wilson, said in a recent interview the discovery of the remains had brought him some closure.
"It was hard not knowing where he was at, how he was gettin' taken care of, if anything bad was happening to him," said Mike Wilson, the child's father. "He's not suffering anymore, he's up with God. That's all I can really say about that. It gives me closure, knowing."
To help preserve Wilson's memory, his grandfather, Bruce Wilson, has been working on a memorial event set for Candeo Church in Cedar Falls, September 1, at 11 a.m. Bruce Wilson also started a fund at Veridian Credit Union that'll help raise money for Jake Wilson's younger brother to go to college.
"Tyler and him were really close," said Bruce Wilson. "We figured that was a great way to honor Jake's memory."
According to Kearns Funeral Service, a Wilson’s funeral is set for 2:00 p.m. Sunday, October 7, 2018 at the Union High School Gymnasium, located at 200 Adams St., La Porte City.
In Wilson’s obituary, family said the teen had “touched so many lives and will forever be loved.”