Skeletal remains in Centralia identified as Spanaway man missing since 2012

Skeletal remains found in Centralia earlier this year have been identified as an 18-year-old Spanaway man missing for more than two years.

DNA test results indicated the remains belong to Christopher Virdell, who was last seen Feb. 9, 2012, when he left a friend’s house in Spanaway to go to work.

Pierce County sheriff’s detectives have said they believe Virdell was killed but have not released a cause of death or motive. No one has been arrested.

Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said investigators have interviewed more than 100 people in the case.

“Hopefully this will be the final piece to the puzzle,” he said.

Virdell’s parents were notified Wednesday.

Dental testing will be conducted even though a Texas lab linked the remains to Virdell.

A woman walking her dog in a wooded area in the 2800 block of Little Hanaford Road found the remains Feb. 28. The property is close to a road and owned by TransAlta USA.

Investigators believe Virdell was killed elsewhere and his body dumped in Centralia.