The discovery of missing man Daniel O’Keeffe’s remains under the Victorian house where he was last seen is not suspicious, police say.
The family last saw the 24-year-old at their home in Highton, near Geelong, on July 15, 2011. They found his remains underneath the house on Monday.
“The current circumstances surrounding the death are not considered suspicious but a thorough investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of death,” Victoria Police said in a statement on Tuesday night.
Police are still awaiting the results of a post-mortem and DNA and forensic testing to confirm the skeletal remains belong to Mr O’Keeffe.
They also expect to be able to confirm how long they have been beneath the house.
The O’Keeffe family confirmed the remains were Mr O’Keeffe’s hours after Monday’s discovery. His father Des was the one who reportedly made the find.
The O’Keeffe family released another statement on Tuesday to say they are overwhelmed by the love and support from the community over their five-year search for “kind and loving” Daniel.
“Our family is devastated with the news that the search for our beloved son and brother has ended this way,” they said.
“All of your thoughts, wishes and prayers are a huge comfort to our family as we come to terms with our tragic loss.”
Just days after he went missing in 2011, Mr O’Keeffe’s sister Loren launched a social media campaign to find her troubled brother, who she believed was alive but not reaching out because of mental health issues.
She regularly posted updates and messages to her brother and became a known figure on television, raising awareness for missing persons.
Despite not finding him during a two-month search of southeast Queensland in 2011 in the wake of reported sightings, the family continued to believe he was alive.
Mr O’Keeffe did not have his ID or wallet on him when he went missing, and his bank accounts have not been used since he left the family home on foot.