BYRON — Skeletal remains recovered this week from a wooded area were at the State Medical Examiner’s Office on Friday for identification and examination, according to Maine State Police. 

In the meantime, the family of a man missing since last December was preparing to lay their long-missing son and brother to rest.

A team including state police troopers, the game wardens and deputies from Oxford and Franklin counties recovered the remains Wednesday, according to Stephen McCausland, the spokesman for the Maine Public Safety Department. 

Medical Examiner’s Office personnel will likely use the state police DNA laboratory to assist in the identification process, McCausland said. 

The discovery was made by a hunter Tuesday off the Weld Road, about one mile into the woods. The hunter reported the finding to the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office.

A number of searches have taken place since last December for Derek Adams, 46, who went missing on Dec. 28, 2016. Adams lived nearby. His family was notified of the discovery, McCausland said.     

Daryl Gurney, Derek’s brother-in-law, posted on Facebook, “Our family is deeply saddened to share that on Tuesday, our son, brother, brother-in-law Derek Adams’ body was located. While difficult, it is also a relief that Derek will now have the proper burial that he deserves.” 

“On behalf of Derek, we’d like to thank the many people who reached out, thought of him, prayed, searched, and supported us,” Gurney wrote. “All of your prayers and love have brought him home.”

The family will continue with a previously planned remembrance service Saturday, Oct. 14, at 6 p.m. at the lodge at Black Mountain in Rumford. Derek’s mother, Dottie Adams, asked that people bring memories of Derek, if they have them. 

“We would love them written,” she said. “Erin (Gurney) is putting together a Memory Book for us. And plan to join us for potluck food and memories following the candlelight service outside (weather permitting).”

There also will be an opportunity to donate to a charity in Derek’s honor: Chisholm Ski Club, Black Mountain of Maine or a fund being set up at a local bank for mental health betterment in the Western Maine area.

An extensive search was conducted over several days when Adams was reported missing from his home at 38 Noyes Road at 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 28, along with his dog, Copper. The day before, a nor’easter had dumped more than 2 feet of snow in the area. The dog returned home Jan. 1. 

Snowmobilers tracked the dog’s prints back along a snowmobile trail near the house, but did not see signs of Adams.

Derek Adams

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