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Human remains discovered in Ravalli County identified as belonging to a missing Missoula man

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Missoula, Montana – Authorities have determined that the human remains discovered in the Bitterroot National Forest belong to a man who had been reported missing from Missoula.

According to Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton, the human remains that were discovered in the Selway Wilderness on Monday night have been tentatively identified as those of Phillip Matthew Stokey, who was from Missoula.

In August of 2020, an extensive search and rescue effort was conducted in an attempt to find Stokey, who was 37 years old at the time. However, he was never found.

The remains were found by a US Forest Service trail crew on Monday night, and they alerted the Sheriff’s Office of their discovery, according to Sheriff Holton.

Investigators hiked in Tuesday morning and found the scene approximately five miles from the Bass Creek Trailhead.

Following the investigation of the site and the recovery of the remains, Sheriff Holton said that they are confident in the identity of the individual due to the evidence that was discovered.

Sheriff Holton said that they would be working with the Montana State Crime Lab to ascertain the cause and manner of death, as well as confirm the name of the victim.

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