Coroner: Human remains found near Toppenish belong to missing California man

Josiah Hilderbrand

TOPPENISH, Wash. — Yakima County Coroner Jim Curtice confirmed Thursday that human remains found near Toppenish last week belong to 25-year-old Josiah Hilderbrand. His death has been ruled a homicide.

FBI spokesperson Steven Berndt said a road construction crew found two sets of human remains on Aug. 5 while working on a section of U.S. Highway 97. The second person’s remains have yet to be identified, but authorities believe it may belong to 48-year-old Jon Cleary.

The California men were last seen together June 7, 2019 on their way to a Dead & Company concert at The Gorge Amphitheater near George, Washington. Authorities said they never made it to the show.

Hilderbrand’s remains were identified using dental records. His cause of death remains under investigation.

“We are hopeful that justice will be served to the individual or individuals responsible for these tragic and senseless deaths,” Curtice said in a news release.