Data Update: Places (Solution in Progress)

John Waters

  • Remains Found - Confirmed ID

About John Waters's case

Primary Source: Silver City Daily Press

According to source, Using dental records, the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque has determined that human remains found earlier this month in the Gila National Forest belong to Silver City resident John Waters, police told the Daily Press on Wednesday. Waters’ wife, Amelia Waters, confirmed to the Daily Press on Thursday that, according to investigators, her husband died of as-yet-unknown causes “somewhere past mile marker 27 on N.M. 15, close to the Cliff Dwellings.” Waters was the subject of a missing persons case under investigation by Silver City police since May 24, according to police and Amelia Waters. Although the department indicated Wednesday that they would release Waters’ missing persons report and other information Thursday morning, repeated calls and text messages to the department requesting the documents Thursday ultimately went unanswered. “May 21 was the last day I saw him,” Amelia said. “My best guess is, he laid himself down and meditated himself right out.” Amelia Waters said she suspects there is a backpack and handgun still unaccounted for in the woods, but that she doesn’t believe her husband used the weapon on himself — but rather brought it for protection, as was his habit. Police haven’t suggested self-harm as a cause of death, either. “He was in a lot of pain, and had a lot of physical discomfort,” Amelia Waters said. “But he was fully capable of protecting himself.” Although Waters is not suspected to have died from a bear attack, police speculate that bears may have consumed most of Waters’ body after he died. A search and rescue team was called in after an off-road-vehicle enthusiast called police July 14 to report an unattended motorcycle, which turned out to be registered to Waters. After a brief search, the team found what turned out to be John Waters’ skull in the nearby woods. No other remains were found. “It’s a mystery,” Amelia Waters said, adding that John would likely have been OK with what appears to have been his ursine fate. “Knowing him and his preferences, he never would have wanted to be embalmed. He always talked about natural burials under a cherry tree, and all-natural cremation on a pyre if possible; let the earth consume him. I imagine this — ‘finale’ — as ideal. “He would have loved to feed the bears,” she said. “This would have delighted him.”

Personal Characteristics

Age / Ethnicity

Gender / Hair / Eyes

Distinguishing Marks

Not Available

Profession / Education

Not Available

Height / Weight

Not Available


Not Available


Investigative Details

  • Foul Play Suspected: Unknown / Undisclosed
  • Suicide Suspected: No
  • Cause of Death: Undetermined / Unreleased

Significant Dates

  • Reported Missing: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 (4 years ago)
  • Date Found: Wednesday, July 29, 2020 (4 years ago)

Administrative Details

Monday, January 8, 2024 (5 months ago)

Missing NPF Public Identification Number (MPID) 9940

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  • Gila National Forest
    Gila National Forest
  • Found Deceased
  • Reported Missing: 10/27/07 (17 years ago)
  • Found: 12/21/07 (16 years ago)

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