The body discovered in a rented RV Thursday night has been identified as Kevin Casserly, an Anoka man who was reported missing in November.
A Facebook page dedicated to finding the 22-year-old confirmed the news Saturday morning.
"After 24 weeks of searching, it is with heavy hearts that we share with you that Kevin’s body was recovered on Thursday. Though not released and laid to rest yet, he will be. It is no longer a question of when and where. To all the volunteers who helped us search for Kevin, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Words cannot express how much the support has meant to all of us and Kevin's family."
According to KSTP, the Anoka County Sheriff's Office confirmed the identity but have not released any other details. The Star Tribune reports there has been no indication as to the cause of Casserly's death.
WCCO reports one of the men who rented the RV was told by the vehicle's owner to not open the storage area where Casserly was discovered. The owner's identity has not been revealed by investigators, the station adds.
A Grisly Discovery
Casserly's body was found by a group of Minnesota friends who rented the RV as part of a bachelor party celebration. The men were on their way to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby when they stopped in Winona Thursday night to pick up another friend. They pulled over in the parking lot of a closed Shopko store to check on a foul odor, opened the exterior storage bin, and found the body.
“I opened it up and I saw two legs and they’re bruised or decomposing,” Dan Trainor, one of the RV's riders, told KSTP.”I had never seen a dead body before.”
Law enforcement officials were called to the parking lot just off Highway 61. Winona Police Chief Paul Bostrack told the Winona Daily News the motorhome has been impounded and is being treated as a crime scene.
Casserly, a father of two, was last seen the morning of Nov. 12. When police issued a missing persons alert two weeks later, he was presumed dead.
At the time, it was reported he last called his mom the night before, telling her he had called in sick to work with the flu. He was last seen around 7:30 a.m. the following morning. Casserly’s car was found with an empty tank of gas. None of his belongings were missing from his apartment.
More than 100 people joined multiple search efforts for Casserly in the weeks after his disappearance, but to no avail. Casserly had a history of methamphetamine use and a criminal record. The Pioneer Press reported that he had multiple convictions, including four felonies, but his family said that he had made progress in his recovery, was employed and was a devoted father to his two young children.
A vigil will be held Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Anoka Northstar Station, the Help Find Kevin Casserly Facebook page says.