Remains found in Allegan County in 2014 have been identified as those belonging to a Muskegon man who went missing in 2000.

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Two cold cases have been solved and a family can finally lay their loved one to rest. Michigan State Police announced that remains found along a Lake Michigan beach in Allegan County in 2014 or those of a Muskegon County man who went missing in 2000.

Michigan State Police said in a release they worked with the DNA Doe Project to identify the partial remains using DNA. Ronald Wayne Jager was a fisherman who disappeared in 2000.

Ronald was from Fruitland Township in Muskegon County. In 2000 he was reported missing the day after he launched his boat at Whitehall municipal boat launch where his car and trailer were later found. The boat washed ashore on the Wisconsin shoreline 80 miles from where it was launched. Searches by the U.S. Coast Guard turned up no evidence of Ronald Jager.

In August of 2014, members of the Michigan State Police Wayland Post were dispatched to Ganges Township in Allegan County for a report of partial human remains located on the beach along Lake Michigan. The remains were collected and sent to the Western Michigan University Pathology Department for identification. Sadly the remains could not be positively identified.

Using the investigative lead provided by the DNA Doe Project, members of the Michigan State Police contacted Ronald's family and collected a DNA sample from one of his adult children for comparison. In April of 2022, testing was finalized and confirmed a match between the recovered remains and the comparison sample.

Ronald's family has since been notified. Additionally, a DNA match was confirmed to another set of partial remains recovered in Oceana County in 2014.

The success of this project and many others like it rests heavily on the participation and excellent work being done by the DNA Doe Project. ~MSP Wayland Post D/Sgt. Todd Workman


Efforts are underway by Western Michigan University’s Pathology Department
to return the remains to Jager’s family.

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