Human remains found in a shallow grave near the Missouri River are those of two missing children last seen when their father picked them up for a weekend visit in 2004, authorities confirmed Tuesday.
Tom Gentry, spokesman for the Independence police department, said authorities used dental records to confirm that the remains, found Sunday, were those of Sam and Lindsey Porter.
The children were 7 and 8 years old when their father, Dan Porter, picked them up from his estranged wife for a weekend visit starting June 5, 2004.
Their whereabouts had been a mystery, as Dan Porter told several different stories about what happened to them, including that he had cut them up and that he had strangled them. He was convicted in 2006 of parental kidnapping with the intent to terrorize his ex-wife and sentenced to 38 years in prison.
“Once the bones were identified, there was relief to at least know there is an end to it, but it also touched our heartstrings and made us all very sad,” Gentry said during a news conference.
Additional charges have not been filed against him since the bones were found, and Gentry said police plan to present their case to prosecutors soon.
Police brought the children’s mother, Tina Porter, to the scene on Monday, Gentry said.
The remains were found in a wooded, industrial area about eight miles from Kansas City. Investigators looking for the children had searched there before, and Gentry has said Porter knew the area because he had hunted there.
It also is where Dan Porter and Tina Porter met on the day he took the children. Police said he asked Tina Porter to meet him near the area to exchange vehicles with him.