Human remains may be those of missing Twisp man

— Authorities believe they have found the remains of a 21-year-old man that went missing nearly two years ago.

According to Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers, the remains of Nicholas A. Tortora are believed to have been recovered.

“It is believed that the remains found yesterday are those of Tortora,” Rogers said. “The remains were located approximately half a mile south of his residence in a heavily wooded area.

“The remains will be sent off for positive identification.”

The remains were located Monday after Twisp Police Chief Paul Budrow received a call from his family when the family dog brought home a human skull.

At about noon, Budrow and Sheriff’s Office Chief Criminal Deputy Dave Rodriguez and deputy Andre Loranc responded to the chief’s house approximately four miles south of town, Rogers said.

After determining the dog had indeed had brought home a human skull, the law enforcement officers began searching the vicinity, the sheriff said. After a four-hour search, more human remains were found about 100 yards from the Methow River.

“Family was notified today,” Rogers said early Tuesday.

The 21-year-old Totora was reported missing June 3, 2012. Family members said he was despondent and didn’t know if he had returned to New Mexico, where he had previously been living.

Search crews looked for Tortora for days after he disappeared, and a cellphone ping showed the device was near Look Out Mountain, about five miles from where his remains were found, Rogers said, noting authorities didn’t find any other clues related to Tortora’s disappearance until yesterday.


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