NEWPORT, Wash. — Human remains found on Sunday have been identified as a Newport man reported missing in September, according to the Pend Oreille County Sheriff's Office.
Family members reported 19-year-old Jason M. Fox missing on Sept. 16, 2020. The combined efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies in eastern Washington led to the discovery of Fox's remains on Oct. 4, the sheriff's office said.
According to the sheriff's office, the investigation is now considered a homicide. Those with any information regarding Fox's disappearance or death are asked to call the Pend Oreille County Sheriff's Office.
Fox's parents, Michael and Susan, told KREM that he had not responded to text messages since Sept. 14. That's the same day that he missed lunch with his family.
In a text message thread with Jason, Michael asked his son where he was on Sept. 14, and Jason responded that he was busy and forgot about their plans. Michael told Jason he loved him and Jason did not respond after that point.
“It was the horrific ending I suspected it was,” Michael told KREM via text after the discovery of his son's remains.
Michael also said the family is taking time to reflect before a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. on Friday at the Newport City Park.
Michael provided a statement to KREM on Wednesday on behalf of his family:
The loss of Jason is a devastating blow to our family. We fervently hoped for a different outcome. We would like to thank everyone who helped to bring him home. The long hours put in by both Newport PD and Pend Oreille County Sheriff's Office, taking and following up on tips provided by the public as a result of the KREM 2 segment, the thousands of shares of the Facebook posts, the instagram and Tik Tok videos, so many people helped in this difficult time and we want to thank each of them. This is not over for us or our community yet though, arrests have not been made, the animals who did this are roaming free when they should be caged for life. Please continue to provide any tips you think could help to the Pend O'reille County sheriff. 509 447 1980. Jason deserves justice, this will never be over for us until that happens.
KREM's Morgan Trau contributed to this report.