The skeletal remains of a Gulf War veteran reported missing in Island Lake in 2011 have been found in a swampy area in town, authorities announced Thursday.
Kenneth J. Kile Jr., who was described by police as a 43-year-old transient with a history of drug use, was reported missing July 5, 2011, by his roommate.
His remains were discovered Nov. 3 in a Cotton Creek marsh near Route 176 and Lakeview Drive. They were identified Nov. 9 through dental and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs records.
Kile, who was from Joliet, vanished about six weeks before he was reported missing, Island Lake police detective Barry Huedepohl said. He was last seen entering the wooded area, Huedepohl said.
Kile had disappeared for weeks at a time before, police said. While family members didn't wish to be contacted by the media, Huedepohl said, they were appreciative of all that was done in the case.
"They're very grateful and relieved, obviously," Huedepohl said. "(They're) very thankful we took the time to keep the case open and find their son."
Police had tried to search the area for Kile previously but were stymied by the swampy ground, which could easily trap a man, they said.
Officers and dogs from several agencies were able to scour the site earlier this month because the summer's drought had made the area more accessible, police said.
Kile's remains were found about 200 or 300 feet into the swamp in a spot that normally would have a few inches of standing water, Huedepohl said.
There were no signs of foul play, police said.
"He likely just got caught and couldn't get out," Huedepohl said.
An autopsy is not planned.
In addition to Island Lake police, officers from DuPage, Kane, LaSalle, Lake and McHenry counties participated in the search. So did officers from Wauconda, Naperville and Plainfield, as well as a Midwest canine emergency response team.
Island Lake police delayed telling the media of the discovery and Kile's identification so they could first notify his relatives in Joliet.
• Daily Herald staff writer Bob Susnjara contributed to this report.