The human remains discovered roughly five months ago off a road near the Stough Canyon Nature Center in Burbank have been identified as those of a 65-year-old man reported missing out of Sherman Oaks, authorities said.
The man, identified by coroner’s officials as Thomas Katz, was reported missing last year.
Katz was last seen on Aug. 30, 2013 around 8 a.m. near his Sherman Oaks home, according to a Los Angeles Police Department press release issued in September. His car was located in Burbank.
In the release, authorities said he may have been despondent, and family members were concerned for his safety.
Katz was positively identified through DNA analysis, according to Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter.
Authorities don’t know how long the bones were there, Winter said. The cause of death, he added, is unknown.
In February, a city worker discovered the scattered bones near the nature center, located at 2300 E. Walnut Ave., and called the police.
Update [July 30, 2014]: Katz' daughter, Justine Pojanowski, said that she asked the LAPD to remove the information stating her father was despondent in its 2013 release, but they did not do so. She said that does not believe her father was depressed in any way.