Human remains found near a highway two weeks ago have been confirmed as those of an Onalaska man who has been missing since last fall, the Onalaska Police Department said in a statement Thursday.
Preliminary autopsy results confirmed the identity of the remains to be 36-year-old Tyler D. Henry, which were found alongside Hwy. 53 near Sand Lake Road.
Officers said there are no signs of foul play so far in the investigation, but officials are awaiting a final autopsy report that is expected to be completed in several weeks.
Henry was last seen Sept. 2 in Onalaska riding a bicycle, and reported missing by his family Sept. 3. His family said during the search that Henry had suffered from a traumatic brain injury several years ago and that they were concerned for his welfare.
The remains were found the morning of April 25 by two individuals cleaning up trash along the highway who then called the police. Officers then confirmed the remains were human, and barricaded the area, including closing a nearby on-ramp for several hours.
“I appreciate the community helping me trying to find Tyler. I’m glad he is no longer missing and his remains were found for him to be claimed by his family. He is a father, son, uncle, best friend ride or die. He had a great heart and will be missed by many,” a post on a Facebook page dedicated to finding Henry stated on April 28.
A post two days earlier stated, “Right by a church, your last words when I saw you a few days prior was, ‘God is good.’ You found your way to him that much I know.”
Another post states that Henry was a father of five children.
The Onalaska Police Department said in a statement that it “has worked closely with the Henry family over the past eight months to locate Mr. Henry.
“We want to extend our sympathies and thank the Henry family for their assistance, along with all those that have reported tips on the case and the numerous law enforcement agencies and other organizations that assisted with this investigation,” it said.
Onalaska police received assistance from the state Department of Justice, the Wisconsin State Patrol and La Crosse County Medical Examiner’s office. The initial autopsy was completed by the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.