Human remains discovered in a wooded lot near U.S. 501 in unincorporated Myrtle Beach were identified Friday as those of a Myrtle Beach man who was reported missing in late September.
The remains of Timothy Francis Buckley, 51, were found by Horry County police about 8 a.m. Thursday. Officers were called about the discovery of bones, believed to be human, found off of Rodeo Drive, near U.S. 501, according to a police report.
Horry County Coroner Robert Edge said that Buckley was identified through dental records and jewelry, and his manner of death is believed to be a homicide.
Buckley was a former Riverhead, N.Y., town councilman and former Riverhead, N.Y. police officer, according to RiverheadLOCAL.com.
His family was told Thursday about the discovery of the remains, and family friend Patrick Mulcahy of Wading River, N.Y., is in Myrtle Beach to assist the family, the website reports.
“The police department down here has done an outstanding job,” Mulcahy said on the website. “The family is very appreciative of the Horry County Police Department and the Myrtle Beach city police.”
The Sun News spoke to Mulcahy Friday afternoon who said, “its gone from a missing persons to a homicide... the family would appreciate some privacy during this time,” and is are asking for prayers for Buckley and the family.
Buckley was last seen just after 9 p.m. Sept. 28 headed toward his camper in the Springmaid Resort area, according to police, and was reported missing the next day.
Authorities described Buckley as a “loving father and husband” with ties to the Myrtle Beach and New York areas in a Facebook post in October before he was found.
Buckley’s wife Ruth has been very ill, and the couple have three teenage daughters, according to RiverheadLOCAL.com.
“They ask that everybody respect their privacy and keep Tim and them in their prayers,” Mulcahy said.
Buckley joined the Riverhead Police Department in November 1988 and was the department’s Officer of the Year in 2005 before retiring in August 2007 to run for a Riverhead, N.Y., town board seat that November, RiverheadLOCAL.com reports.
He won the election and took office January 2008, but resigned suddenly from the position Feburary 2009 because of personal reasons after his wife became ill, the website states.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the family,” Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said.
“He was a good friend of mine. It’s a terrible loss for his family and friends and for the town for Riverhead,” Walter said. “He was one of those guys that when you met him, you automatically liked him.”
Lt. Raul Denis with Horry County police declined to comment on whether authorities had any suspects in connection with Buckley’s case, but confirmed they were investigating his death as a homicide.