By Briana Collier| January 26, 2021 at 5:09 PM EST - Updated January 26 at 6:13 PM
RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WTOC) - The remains of a man that had been missing for a year have been found.
Then 38-year-old Brian Kennedy, of Maryland, moved to Richmond Hill for a better life. The last time he was seen was November 2019.
Detectives found his remains in January 2021.
Richmond Hill detectives say they found Kennedy’s remains in a wooded area and they say their persistence to find Kennedy was not easy.
“We had leads all the way from Tennessee, all the way down to Florida, down to the Orlando area, Savannah and we followed each and every one of them to try to see if we could find him,” Det. Jesus Gonzalez said.
Lead after lead, Det. Gonzalez says they never gave up hope in finding Kennedy.
“I hadn’t given up hope on finding him alive and I tried to instill that into the parents, we’re going to find Brian,” he said.
After Kennedy initially went missing in November of 2019, detectives say they eventually found his car abandoned near the TA truck stop in Richmond Hill; along with a cell phone and other belongings and that’s when they started to focus in on that area.
Gonzalez says though it’s a part of the job, it’s never easy working cases like this.
“You get tied into it really quick because, I mean, this is something that I went from just investigating as a report into actually once I got into it, I got more invested into it and I wanted to find Brian,” Det. Gonzalez said.
And it’s one of the first missing persons cases of this magnitude the department has ever seen.
“From my 22 years here, this is the longest I can remember anybody going missing, or the longest missing person case that we’ve ever worked,” Richmond Hill Police Department Capt. Jason Sakelarios said.
Capt. Sakelarios says they credit the community for stepping in to help when they needed them the most.
“That family who lives several states away reached out for some help and we reached out for some help and the community just a really good outpouring,” Capt. Sakelarios said.
So even though the family now has closure, it’s a case they say will stick with them forever.
“The parents became family, so telling them the news was kind of difficult.”
The family is expected to come to Richmond Hill to pick up his remains and thank law enforcement for their work on the case.
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