Crime

Remains found in Santa Margarita are of man missing since 2016, Sheriff's Office says

Officials confirmed Tuesday that human remains found in Santa Margarita in March are those of 38-year-old Jared Jay Walters, who was reported missing more than two years ago.

Walters was reported missing to the Atascadero Police Department on Feb. 26, 2016. At the time, detectives were investigating a home in the 2200 block of I Street in Santa Margarita.

Authorities, who described Walters as a "transient" with no known city of residence, said at the time that his disappearance was suspicious and they believed he may have been the victim of foul play.

A few months ago, detectives received information that Walters' remains were in the 4100 block of Stagecoach Canyon Road in rural Santa Margarita, according to a Sheriff's Office news release. Authorities served a warrant at the location and found human remains on the property, according to the release.

DNA tests confirmed that the remains were Walters', officials said, and the case is now being investigated as a homicide. In the release, the Sheriff's Office refers to Walters' death as a murder.

Additional information was not immediately available.

The Sheriff's Office asks anyone with information "related to his murder" to call the Sheriff's Office Detective Division at 805-781-4500 or CrimeStoppers at 805-549-7867. Tips can also be submitted at SLOTIPS.org.

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