According to Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder, detectives were able to get a positive ID on the Body found in the irrigation ditch near Shepherd. The ID was made by the use of dental records which were provided by an organization in Utah.
The person is ID’ed as John Erik Zander, age 23.
Zander had lived in Salt Lake City Utah but had become transient and according to family members he had been living off the streets. He was known to be in the Billings area in July 2015.
Zander was reported to the Billings P.D. as a missing person August 20th by a family member but the investigation revealed that he was probably last seen on the Billings west end on or about August 2, 2015.
The Pathologist was able to determine that the subject is a male, probably in his 20s, white or possibly Hispanic. He is described as approximately 6 feet or slightly taller and heavyset, possibly 300 pounds.
He was wearing wrangler blue jeans when discovered. It was also determined that the body could have been in the canal for as long as 12 months.
It is unknown how or where Zander entered the ditch. There were no obvious signs of trauma that would indicate foul play but the investigation remains open.