A decomposing body found south of the Shawnee city limits July 17 was positively identified Thursday as a missing Shawnee man.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner used dental records to confirm the identity of Joshua Dewayne Keys, 29, said Shawnee Police Chief Russell Frantz.
Pottawatomie County Undersheriff Travis Palmer said the medical examiner is still working to determine the cause and manner of death, a process that could take months.
Deputies will await those findings to see if there was any foul play involved or if this was a death of natural causes, Palmer said.
“It will remain an open case until we hear back,” he said.
Once the medical examiner made official identification, Shawnee Police Detective Charles Swantek notified Keys’ relatives Thursday afternoon, Frantz added.
Sheriff’s deputies began investigating when natural gas utility contractors found the body while working in a remote area near where Bryan Street ends south of Farrall Street.
Local authorities began cross-referencing missing persons cases in efforts to determine an identity, Palmer said, and also used the clue of a visible tattoo on the body to narrow the search.
Keys had been reported missing to Shawnee police in early June and was last scene in an area by the North Canadian River in Shawnee.
Palmer said the area where Keys’ body was found was remote enough that no one could have seen the body from the river, located about another one-half mile away.
Watch for updates.