Femur bone found in Silver Lake area linked to Whitehall fisherman missing for 22 years.

April 25, 2022


Femur bone found in Silver Lake area linked to Whitehall fisherman missing for 22 years.

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By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

GOLDEN TOWNSHIP — A human femur bone found along the Lake Michigan shoreline near the Silver Lake State Park in 2013 has been identified as the remains of a Whitehall area fisherman who went missing in 2000, police said.

The DNA Doe Project and the Michigan State Police determined the femur bone discovered in Oceana County and a jaw bone found in Allegan County belonged to Ronald Wayne Jager of Fruitland Township. 

Jager was reported missing the day after he launched his boat into White Lake from the Whitehall Municipal Boat Launch in August of 2000. His boat washed ashore in Wisconsin, but US Coast Guard searches did not find him.

A Hillsdale, Michigan man found the femur bone in November of 2013, said Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast. He was staying at Grace Youth Camp and went for a walk on the Lake Michigan Shoreline near Juniper Beach when he made the grisly discovery.

The jaw bone was discovered in Allegan County by a jogger running along the Lake Michigan shoreline. 

The remains were sent to the University of North Texas, where genealogists matched the DNA to Jager’s relatives. 

“I am so glad that we were able to assist the Michigan State Police in giving some answers to Ronald’s family after this tragic incident,” said DNA Doe Project Team Leader Kevin Lord in a press release.

“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,” said MSP Det. Sgt. Todd Workman. “On behalf of the MSP and the Jager family, we would like to express our gratitude and thanks for the amazing work they undertake and the service they provide.”

A different jawbone that appears to be human found last September in Silver Lake has yet to be identified, said Sheriff Mast. A man was removing a dock from his property for the season, Sept. 12, 2021 when he made the discovery.

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