By Don Nelson

Human bones found near Twisp in April have been positively identified as those of 21-year-old Nicholas A. Tortora, who was reported missing about two years ago.

Okanogan County Chief Criminal Deputy Dave Rodriguez said this week that a state forensic anthropologist had thoroughly examined the bones and determined that they are Tortora’s remains. The remains have been returned to Tortora’s family, Rodriguez said. The forensic anthropologist found no evidence of trauma or foul play, he said.

The human bones were uncovered by a dog near the Methow River on property owned by Twisp Police Chief Paul Budrow. Budrow, Rodriguez and sheriff’s Deputy Andre Loranc subsequently began a search along the river. 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 earlier reports. Budrow said that clothing found at the site matched the description of items worn by Tortora when he disappeared.

Tortora, of Twisp, was reported missing on June 3, 2012, after telling people that he was despondent, according to earlier police reports. A search of the Twisp area at that time was unsuccessful. Tortora was the only person known to have gone missing in the Twisp area in the past several years, Budrow said earlier.