JASPER COUNTY, Ind. — Dental record comparisons have confirmed that the skeletonized remains that were located on February 27, 2021, approximately 5 miles northeast of Rensselaer, are those of Bill Prater, who has been missing since late July.
The remains were delivered to the University of Indianapolis to be examined by Dr. Krista Latham, Forensic Anthropologist, & Director of Human Identification Center, on the week of March 12, 2021.
Dental records that were procured from two area dentists were included for human identification study.
"On March 30, 2021, we received a positive dental comparison made by Dr. David H. Pfotenhauer, DDS, MSD, of Indianapolis," stated Jasper County Coroner Andrew Boersma. "A complete human identification report will be forthcoming from the Human Identification Center of the University of Indianapolis.
On April 1, 2021, Sgt. R. Trail and Boersma met with Prater’s mother to advise her of the findings from the dental comparison.
The Jasper County Coroner’s Office and the Jasper County Sheriff’s police would like to thank all those volunteers who came out and helped search for Mr. Prater after his disappearance.
Prater was last seen rafting on the Iroquois River with two other individuals in late June. He got separated from his friends, who last saw him near the river southeast of Rensselaer at County Road 100 South, east of U.S. 231.
His wallet, phone, and t-shirt were returned to Prater’s mailbox by one of his friends.
According to the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department, searches of the Iroquois River Basin were conducted by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana Department of Conservation, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and the White County Sheriff’s Office after the family filed a missing person’s report on July 15. The searches included walking, kayaking, air support (including a helicopter and UAV), and sonar.
According to the “Help find Bill Prater” Facebook page, friends and volunteers covered hundreds of acres looking for Prater. They were assisted by members of the Jasper County and Newton County Sheriff’s offices and were permitted by landowners to search their grounds.