Junction City Police
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News Release
Remains Positively Identified as Those of Hunter Smith-Tash - 11/10/17

On August 4, 2017 Hunter Smith-Tash was reported to the Junction City Police Department as a missing person. The reporting parties stated they had last heard from Mr. Smith-Tash in mid-July, 2017 when he advised he was on a Greyhound bus near Ontario, Oregon. Mr. Smith-Tash stated told them he was enroute to Nebraska.

On October 21, 2017 hunters in the Owyhee desert in Idaho found the remains of a male subject. During the investigation, Idaho State Police (ISP) detectives received information that the unknown male may be Mr. Smith-Tash. Smith.

Junction City police department was able to obtain DNA samples from Mr. Smith-Tash's mother. That sample was compared against that of the remains of the unknown male subject found in the desert. The results of the DNA comparison determined, with 99.995% probability, that the unidentified remains were those of Mr. Smith-Tash.

ISP detectives advised that Nicholas Vandenberg was arrested and charged with first degree murder for the death of Mr. Smith-Tash. ISP further advised that Keith Rabey and Montana Reed were also arrested for conspiracy to commit the crime of murder in the first degree and destruction or concealment of evidence in regards to Mr. Smith-Tash's death.

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