In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon Boone Co. Sheriff Mike Moore said DNA results from human remains found along the banks of Crooked Creek have proved to belong to John Villines; 67 days after he and his wife Amy were swept away in high water.
The body was discovered on Monday evening and after being retrieved from a pile of debris was sent to the crime lab for DNA testing. The identity of the remains was received by the Sheriff’s office at 11:00 AM on Tuesday morning. John Villines was found approximately 20.5 miles downstream from Lake Harrison, which Moore said was, “Surprising to many, that it was that far away.”
Search teams organized in the early morning hours on Tuesday to search Crooked Creed for the body of Amy Villines and to identify to remaining piles of debris that need to be searched which Sheriff Moore estimates is approximately 200 between the Highway 65 bridge and the Harmon Bridge. The area between these bridges will be searched on Tuesday, an estimated 21 miles of creek bed. On Wednesday the search will expand to move further downstream, all the way to the Boone County line. Search efforts have included law enforcement, K-9 units, drones, and volunteers. Sheriff Moore warned that coming rains could hinder the search and change the location of the debris piles.
The portion of creek bed in which John Villines was found is not normally under water. Heavy rains flooded the area and caused debris build up which essentially buried the body.
The search area for Amy Villines has expanded now to an unlimited area down stream from Lake Harrison. Before the discovery of John Villines, it was unknown whether water in Lake Harrison had risen to the necessary level to carry a body across the lake weir. With the new discovery Sheriff Moore said Amy’s body could be an “unlimited distance” from the Highway 65 bridge.
Sheriff Moore closed by expressing his appreciation of the support from the public and the family. He said much of the search team was made up of family members. If you would like to help with the search for Amy Villines go to the Office of Emergency Management and sign in before searching for safety purposes.
Story by: Coleman Taylor