One of the original Mouseketeers, Dennis Day, has been confirmed as the body found at his home in Oregon in early June.
The former child star was reported as a missing person in July 2018.
In a statement released to Variety from the Oregon State Police, they first found the body on April 4 but could not use dental records or DNA to identify the body due to the conditions of the remains. The medical examiner’s office confirmed the body was Day, 76.
Day’s body was found on the rural property he shared with husband Ernie Caswell. Caswell reported Day missing when he stopped visiting Caswell, who was in the hospital following a fall.
On July 26, 2018, two people unknown to his family were found driving Day’s car. They told the police he had given them permission. After impounding the car, police could not find any evidence of foul play.
Day’s family took to Facebook to break the news and announce they would “not be making any comments or answering questions at this time.”
“Our family would like to take this time to share with you that the remains found in Dennis and Ernie’s home have been officially identified as our beloved Brother and Uncle, Dennis Day. The cause of death is under investigation by the Oregon State Police.” Adding, “We are truly thankful to all of you for your love and support. Please keep Ernie in your prayers during this extremely difficult time. Our family is truly thankful to the Oregon State Police for helping to bring closure to our family so that we can finally lay Dennis to rest. We love you Brother & Uncle Dennis!”
Since the identification of the body, the couple’s handyman has been charged with Day’s death.
Daniel James Burda, 36, was charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, abuse of a corpse and six counts of aggravated identity theft reports People.
Burda entered a not guilty plea at an arraignment on Monday. His bail has been set at $150,000.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 15.