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Bones those of Island Lake man who disappeared in 2011

Kenneth J. Kile Jr

Kenneth J. Kile Jr

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Updated: December 19, 2012 12:49PM

ISLAND LAKE — The bones of a 43-year-old Gulf War veteran who went missing in a swampy area around Cotton Creek over a year ago were found because this summer’s drought made the area accessible.

Island Lake police announced Thursday the confirmation of the identity of the victim, Kenneth Kile Jr., who was originally from Joliet, after the McHenry County Coroner’s Office was able to match X-rays and dental records available through Hines Veterans Hospital in Chicago.

On Nov. 9, the skeletal identity was confirmed as Kile. Huedepohl said the victim had a history of drug use.

Authorities believe he wandered into the area, got stuck and died. There was no indication of foul play.

Police made the announcement Thursday after they were able to contact family members.

Kile was reported missing by a roommate in June 2011, only the roommate said he had last seen him heading into the Cotton Creek wetlands area about six months ago. He had not been seen since.

At the time, police attempted to search the area east of the Fox River on the Lake-McHenry County line, but using ATVs and K-9 tracking teams, were unsuccessful due to the wet non-passable ground.

Police contacted the coroner’s office in October to re-open the cold case because the spillway had been dry since June due to the summer drought. A large-scale exercise organized by the McHenry County Emergency Management Association was held Nov. 3 that included search-and-rescue teams from DuPage, Kane, LaSalle, Lake and McHenry counties, along with personnel from Naperville, Plainfield and the Midwest K-9 Emergency Response Team, along with Wauconda and Island Lake police.

Island Lake Detective Barry Huedepohl said the Cotton Creek wetland/marsh area is normally under several inches of water during non-drought seasons and was now dry and passable by foot for the first time in many years.

At approximately 10:50 a.m., a K-9 search team specializing in cadaver tracking, identified an area of human skeletal bones and other physical evidence in the marsh.

He said the marsh areas were dangerous to navigate and recalled how a Wauconda woman sank into a similar marsh and was immediately stuck up to her waist. “The fire department had to hoist her out,” he said.

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