STEVENSVILLE — Ravalli County authorities report the human remains found in the Bitterroot National Forest are that of a missing Missoula man.
Sheriff Steve Holton said the human remains found in the Selway Wilderness Monday night have been tentatively identified as Phillip Matthew Stokey of Missoula.
Stokey, 37 at the time, was the subject of an intense search and rescue operation in August of 2020 but was never located.
Holton stated that a Forest Service Trail Crew discovered the remains Monday night and notified the RCSO.
Investigators hiked in Tuesday morning and found the scene approximately five miles from the Bass Creek Trailhead.
After processing the scene and recovering the remains, Holten said they are confident in the identity due to the evidence that was recovered.
Holton said the RCSO will work with the Montana State Crime Lab to confirm the identity and determine the cause and manner of death.