TULALIP — Human remains found this week in Tulalip were those of Jacob Hilkin, an Everett man who went missing in 2018, authorities confirmed Thursday.
A resident building a motorcycle track discovered the bones Sunday in the 7900 block of 31st Avenue NE.
Hilkin, 24, hadn’t been seen since January 2018, when he went to the Quil Ceda Creek Casino with friends. The next morning a Tulalip police officer encountered Hilkin, in no apparent distress, at a homeless camp off 27th Avenue NE. He told the officer he’d catch a bus to his mother’s house, and he was last seen walking south in the direction of a bus stop.
Detectives never found evidence that he boarded a bus. He never came home. For almost two years, nobody found any trace of Hilkin whatsover, in spite of organized searches through the surrounding Tulalip woods. His social media and bank accounts sat dormant. He left behind his car, Xbox, music gear and cash — and the mystifying reason for his sudden disappearance remained unanswered this week, when skeletal remains were found less than a mile from the spot where he was seen.
The cause and manner of death have not been determined.
Based on the location and evidence found near the bones, Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies suspected they were likely Hilkin’s, but they needed confirmation. A forensic dentist, Dr. Gary Bell, examined teeth late Wednesday and confirmed they matched Hilkin’s dental records.
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office officially released Hilkin’s identity Thursday afternoon.
In the meantime, his mother, Marni Pierce, had already shared on social media that her son’s body had been found. She wrote that she needed time to allow her family to heal.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snocaleb.