Found remains may identify missing man

Monday, September 22nd 2008, 7:17 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

PURCELL, Okla. -- For more than a year, authorities in McClain County had a missing man, but no body. Now they have the remains of a body, and soon, with the help of DNA testing, they believe they'll have a name.

The search for a man who disappeared 13 months ago may have reached a finale last week at a fishing pond south of Purcell.

Efrain Aquino disappeared in August 2007.

"He was out partying with some friends, and they were residents just west of here, approximately half a mile," Captain Bill Shobe with the McClain County Sheriff's Office said. "He went out supposedly to use the bathroom, and nobody has seen him since."

Deputies searched the pond area. But that was during a time when the remnants of Hurricane Aaron were causing flooding and raising water levels in the area. No body was found.

Then last week John McReynolds and some friends were fishing at the pond, saw something, and went to investigate.

"We saw some bones lying there, and me and my friends came to the conclusion that we thought it was a body," McReynolds said.

Besides bones, they found a belt and buckle thought to belong to Aquino. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation will be asked to use DNA samples from a couple of Aquino's hats to see if they match DNA from the bones.

"He's a missing person, and somebody, some place is missing this individual," Shobe said. "They need closure, whether he's alive or dead."

Aquino's disappearance was never considered to be a homicide or any other kind of crime.

Aquino's closest relatives are believed to live in Mexico.