Remains believed to be those of 21-year-old Nicholas A. Tortora of Twisp, who was reported missing nearly two years ago, were recovered Monday (April 21) after a dog found a human skull near the Methow River on property owned by Twisp Police Chief Paul Budrow.

Okanogan County Sheriff’s Department investigators have found nothing that indicates foul play in Tortora’s death, Sheriff Frank Rogers said Tuesday (April 22) in a press release.

Tortora was reported missing on June 3, 2012, after telling people that he was despondent, according Rogers’ press release.

The skull was discovered by Chief Budrow’s son, Lucas Budrow, when he arrived at the Budrow property about four miles south of Twisp on Highway 153 at around 12:10 p.m. on Monday. Lucas Budrow told Paul Budrow’s wife, Aimee, about the skull, and she immediately called the Twisp chief – who in turn contacted the sheriff’s office.

Paul Budrow, sheriff’s Chief Criminal Detective Dave Rodriguez and Deputy Andre Loranc subsequently began a search along the Methow River where the Budrow family dog often finds animal remains, Chief Budrow said Tuesday. Additional remains and clothing were found after about four hours of searching, at a heavily wooded site about 100 yards inland from the river, according to the sheriff’s press release.

Tortora’s family was contacted before any information was released to the public. Rogers said the remains and evidence will undergo more investigation to certify the identification.

For more details, see the Wednesday (April 23) issue of the Methow Valley News.