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Partial human remains likely those of Danenberg

Forensic review to determine identity of arm found June 5 along Salmon River

Cayla Danenberg


Cayla Danenberg



Partial human remains discovered along the Salmon River last week are likely those of Cayla A. Danenberg, who died in a 2016 vehicle accident. Determination is pending laboratory investigation.

Remains were found last Tuesday, June 5, according to Detective Jerry Johnson, Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, a quarter-mile upriver from the Rice Creek Bridge. An Idaho Fish and Game officer was checking on some fishermen, and afterward while walking upriver he found bones hanging in a bush above the high-water mark.

The remains – mainly skeletal but with some tissue -- appear to be a left arm, consisting of a humorous, radius and ulna, and part of the wrist up to the knuckles, according to Johnson, and still connected.

Danenberg and her companion, Tiffany Maupin, were involved in a car crash on May 17, 2016, into the Salmon River two miles north of John Day on U.S. 95. Maupin’s body was recovered 11 days later, and Danenberg’s partial remains were discovered in October 2017.

These latest remains discovered June 5 were found half to three-quarters of a mile downriver from where Danenberg’s initial remains were recovered last year.

Law enforcement has contacted the families of those individuals who have gone missing in the Salmon River that remains have been recovered. Those missing include John “Randy” French, 54, of Boise, who failed to return home a year ago in July during a Riggins fishing trip; and Shawnta LaRae Pankey, 25, of Grangeville, last seen April 15 on foot near Pine Bar.

“But based on the age of the remains and the location they were found, it’s likely they’re of Cayla Danenberg,” Johnson said.

Remains were shipped Monday, June 11, to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, which will do a forensic anthropological review and DNA extraction to determine identification. The center conducts free reviews for law enforcement, funded through a federal grant. Determination could take several months.

Johnson noted the center helped in their two-decade-old missing person case involving Patricia Louise Tamosaitis, 56, of Medical Lake, Wash., positively identifing her remains in 2015.

“They do a good job, and at no expense to us,” he said.



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