By Andy Rose, CNN
An anthropologist believes that the remains of a California 17-year-old who went missing after deadly mudslides in 2018 have been found three years later.
Dr. Danielle Kurin of the University of California, Santa Barbara said in a forensic report that she is “over 90% certain that these remains are those of Jack Cantin,” according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.
Cantin was one of 23 victims who died in the Montecito mudslides, a massive debris flow caused by the effects of the Thomas Fire, which was the largest wildfire in California at the time.
Among the victims whose remains were found was Cantin’s father, David Cantin.
The sheriff’s office says the disappearance is still considered an open case as they examine the anthropologist’s report.
The Thomas Fire burned more than 281,000 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. It was one of several wildfires that hit the area in December 2017 and the Thomas Fire burned into January 2018 before it was fully contained.
Heavy rains hit the area on January 9, 2018, pouring water down hillsides charred by the wildfires, which burned vegetation that otherwise could make the terrain more resistant to mudslides.
The rain unleashed rivers of mud and boulders that plowed through neighborhoods in and near Montecito, an affluent seaside community east of Santa Barbara. An estimated 65 homes were destroyed and hundreds of others were damaged by the mudslides.
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CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian contributed to this report.