• Remains found behind shed of Wakefield home identified as missing man

    By: Manoella Macedo

    Updated:

    WAKEFIELD, Mass. - Authorities have identified the human remains found outside a Wakefield home on Monday as a man missing since April 2018.

    Dental records examined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner identified the victim as 54-year-old Clifford Bates of Dracut.

    Bates was reported missing to Wakefield Police on April 29, 2018 by his sister after he walked away from a voluntary sober house. 

    Police learned Bates walked away from the home on Lakeshore Drive at around 7:30 a.m. His sister was later notified by staff members that her brother had not returned.

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    According to police, Bates did not have a cell phone and had a history of similar behavior. An official missing person's report was filed by Bates' family on May 1, 2018. While police asked for help from the public in the areas of Wakefield, Chelmsford, Lowell and Concord and received multiple tips, they could not locate Bates.

    More than a year later, on June 17, 2019, A landscaper working on the Lakeshore Drive home from where Bates had been reported missing found what appeared to be human bones, shoes and clothing underneath leaves and brush in the back yard, behind a shed. The house has been vacant since Dec. 2018 and was sold recently.

    While an exact cause of death and exact time of death have not been determined yet, officials said the conditions of the remains indicate they had been sitting outside for a long period of time.

    Authorities continue to investigate this case.

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