WAKEFIELD —The remains found in Wakefield late Monday morning have been positively identified through dental records as those of a Dracut man who had been missing since last year.
The remains of Clifford Bates, 54, were identified by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Wakefield Chief of Police Steven Skory.
The remains were located outside a residence on Lakeshore Drive in Wakefield.
On April 29, 2018, Wakefield officers responded to Lakeshore Drive for a report of a missing person. According to a release, the caller reported that her brother, Clifford Bates, had walked away from a voluntary sober home in Wakefield. She said she was concerned about his well-being.
Police learned that Bates had walked away from the home at approximately 7:30 a.m. When he did not return, staff contacted his sister, according to the release. Bates did not have a cellphone and had a history of similar behavior, police also learned.
“Dearest family, friends and loved ones, my brother Cliff is at peace,” wrote Bates’ sister in a public Facebook post just before noon on Wednesday. A message for her was left Thursday.
An official missing person’s report was filed by Bates’ family on May 1, 2018. Police then asked for the public’s help in the areas of Wakefield, Chelmsford, Lowell and Concord. They received several tips but were unable to locate Bates.
At about 10:30, Monday, a landscaper working at the Lakeshore Drive residence from where Bates was reported missing noticed what appeared to be human bones, shoes and clothing under leaves and brush in the rear yard, behind a shed. The residence had been vacant since December 2018 and was sold recently.
According to the release, the conditions of the remains indicate that they had been outside for an extended period of time, as a result an exact time has not been determined. Nor has the cause of death.
Bates in late 2017 faced a series of charges after New Hampshire State Police said he was clocked driving his 2005 Porsche Boxster at 109 mph on Interstate 95 in the town of Greenland on Nov. 4, 2017.
Bates was charged with reckless driving, operating after suspension and open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, according to a press release issued by the agency.
“We appreciate the patience and assistance of members of the public today as this investigation is conducted,” Skory said. “At this time we do not believe there is any danger to the community.”
Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office are investigating along with the Wakefield Police Department and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Amaris Castillo: @AmarisCastillo on Twitter