Police say a body found in southern Oregon this past April belongs to Dennis Day, who was one of the original “Mouseketeers” from “The Mickey Mouse Club.”
Day was reported missing last July, and efforts to find him were unsuccessful. In April, however, police said a body at been found at Day’s home in the town of Phoenix, Oregon.
At the time it was found, the body was in such poor shape, police were unable to use dental records or DNA to identify the remains. In a statement, police said they used “investigation, evidence and other information” to identify the body.
Police have not revealed the circumstances around the body’s discovery, nor have they said where it was found on the property. They did not answer questions as to why it took nearly a year to find the body at the home. The cause of death is still under investigation.
Day, who had been out of the public eye for decades, was reported missing by his husband, Ernie Caswell, last July. Caswell was in the hospital at the time and suffers from dementia. His memory loss made the investigation into his disappearance difficult.
Even Day’s family members were not aware that he was missing until months later, as Caswell could not remember how to contact them. Day’s family said it was not unusual for months to pass without contact with him.
In February, Day’s family members appeared on NBC’s “Dateline,” saying police had mishandled the investigation into his disappearance.
Day’s car was later found on the Oregon coast, and he reportedly left his dog with a friend on the day he disappeared, a move police say was uncharacteristic for him.
Day was 76 at the time of his disppearance. At the age of 10, Walt Disney picked him to be one of the original Mouseketeers, who entertained kids on the hugely popular “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the 1950s. He appeared on the show’s first two seasons.
In this video clip from “The Mickey Mouse Club,” Dennis Day and other Mouseketeers are seen singing the iconic theme song.
A post in the Facebook group “Help Us Find Dennis Day” confirmed his passing. In the post, Day’s niece Janel Showers thanked police for their efforts. “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,” she said.
Our condolences and prayers go out to the family and friends of Dennis Day.
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Source: Associated Press