Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009. (RCMP photo)

Human remains found off U.S. coast in 2009 identified as Penticton man

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009

Jim (James) Neufeld was last seen leaving his Penticton home on Jan. 21, 2009.

Nearly 12 years later, U.S. officials in Washington State have now identified human remains found on the coast of San Juan County as belonging to Neufeld.

Neufeld was believed to be travelling in his green 1997 Plymouth Voyager passenger van, which was located under the Alexandria Bridge near the Fraser River on Feb. 3, 2009, by Hope RCMP. His vehicle was examined by RCMP forensic specialists at the time.

READ MORE: Kelowna break-in suspect arrested over weekend

On May 23, 2009, the remains of a deceased man were pulled from the waters of the Salish Sea off of Parker Reef, about one-half mile north of Orcas Island in San Juan County.

The remains were taken in for anthropological and forensic studies but went unidentified, despite efforts by U.S. officials to trace a number on a metal plate to hospitals, pull a DNA profile from the deceased, and develop and sketch what he might have looked like.

However, a renewed attempt to establish a DNA profile in September 2020 proved to be successful. In partnership with the BC Coroners Service Special Identifications Unit and the Snohomish County medical examiner’s office in Washington, the remains were positively identified as belonging to Neufeld.

“At first I was confident we would find his identity and family right away,” said San Juan country coroner Randall Gaylord. But when the case went cold coroners grew frustrated.

Jane Jorgensen of the Snohomish County medical examiner’s office was able to provide the fresh look that was ultimately successful

B.C. RCMP Southeast District Supt. Ray Carfantan said this case may bring hope to other families who have a missing loved one.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

missing person

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Northeast Woods in Comox is a popular area for hikers and mountain bike riders. It's also a protected park and conservation area. Photo by Scott Stanfield
Comox Valley RCMP seeking witnesses to ‘indecent act’ in Northeast Woods

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after a man was seen… Continue reading

Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells is pictured in December 2018 presenting Marla Ayre, and her children Hunter and Marissa, with keys to their new home at the Habitat For Humanity Vancouver Island North’s Lake Trail Road project. File photo
Courtenay council gives green light to next Habitat build

Courtenay council adopted a bylaw to allow Habitat for Humanity to construct… Continue reading

Comox Valley Nature is in search of the community's 2021 Tree of The Year. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
Comox Valley Nature accepting nominations for ‘Tree of the Year’ contest

Submitted to The Record Comox Valley Nature’s (CVN) annual contest, now in… Continue reading

A multi-use bridge proposed at 6th Street would provide a cyclist/pedestrian connection between downtown Courtenay and Simms Park. Graphic supplied
Comox Valley Cycling Coalition advocates wider bridge

If a 6th Street multi-use bridge ever comes into fruition, the Comox… Continue reading

The objectives of the Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society include peer support for parents and caregivers, as well as developing support services, projects, educational and employment opportunities for people with Down Syndrome. Photo supplied.
Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society reaching families in the Comox Valley and beyond

COVID-19 restrictions forced a subdued first-anniversary celebration for the Vancouver Island Down… Continue reading

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
One in five tests in Fernie area coming back positive: doctor

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

LUSH Valley appealed to Courtenay council to help restart the Good Food Box Program for Vulnerable Citizens. File photo
Comox Valley organization hopes to restart food program

In a Monday presentation to Courtenay council, the LUSH Valley Food Action… Continue reading

Town of Comox council (from left) Alex Bissinger, Ken Grant, Nicole Minions, Mayor Russ Arnott, Stephanie McGowan, Maureen Swift and Pat McKenna. Photo by Kim Stallknecht
Comox to move forward with stormwater management decision

Northeast Comox lands have been a historical flood plain and regularly floods

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
From the “You can’t make this stuff up” file – stories from the BC CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

The RCMP are reminding drivers to find alternative ways home if they have consumed anything that impairs their ability to drive. (Black Press file photo)
Impaired Island driver flees road check twice on the same night

The officer issued the driver numerous violation tickets, and a four-month driving suspension

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

Most Read