Human Remains Identified after nearly 1 year

Published by The Bee News

October 31, 2019

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On December 15, 2018, the skeletal remains of a human were located in the desert area north of Lake
Havasu City, Arizona. There was no identification found near the body and due to the stage of
decomposition, the body was unidentifiable. Tattoos on the body were rehydrated and posted on social
media by the Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office. Last week, a family member out of state happened
upon the social media posting, identifying the unique tattoos as being tattoos that they knew Jeffrey Russell
Van Vliet, 23, to have. Van Vliet was known to be a transient in the Lake Havasu City area. Dental records
for Van Vliet were obtained by the Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office, at which time the remains
were positively identified as those of Van Vliet. There were no signs of foul play or suspicious circumstances
surrounding Van Vliet’s death.

On December 15 at approximately 1 PM, Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to the desert
area east of Highway 95 near mile post 193 for a call of human remains found. The reporting party had been
hiking in the desert and found the remains. Several personal items were located near the body, to include a
camouflage hooded sweatshirt, camouflage shorts, a blue T-shirt with the words “New York City”, black size
9 1⁄2 tennis shoes, a blue hiking backpack with a black plastic frame, and a bible. The male subject is thought
to be approximately 5’ 7” with colored tattoos on both forearms. No foul play is suspected at this time.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to call the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office at 928-
753-0753 or call our toll free number at 1-800-522-4312.

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