The skeletal remains found in a state forest in Cecil County on Saturday have been identified as those of an elderly man who had been missing for more than two years, state police said yesterday.
Using dental records, the state medical examiner determined the remains to be those of Robert Abramowicz of the 900 block of Irishtown Road in North East, state police said.
On Saturday, a hunter walking through a ravine in the Elk Neck State Forest near Irishtown Road found the remains; the site is about a mile from Abramowicz's home.
On July 22, 2005, Abramowicz, 81, wandered off into Elk Neck State Forest while going to retrieve the mail. That day, his wife reported him missing, prompting a police search that included helicopters and police dogs.
Abramowicz, a retired aeronautics engineer, suffered from Alzheimer's disease, his son, Robert H. Abramowicz, said yesterday.
Abramowicz, who was born in Poland, had been sent to a Siberian labor camp, said his wife, Jadwiga Abramowicz. During World War II, Abramowicz was released to fight against the Germans. After the war, he finished school in London, where he got married, said his wife.
He and his wife grew up about a half-mile from each other in Poland.
"I was praying, even if he's dead, I want some closure," she said yesterday. "It's some relief. At least he's coming home."
A cause of death has not yet been determined, but investigators have found nothing suspicious, state police said.
Abramowicz's disappearance was not the only tragedy to befall the family in recent years. His daughter, Lillian Abramowicz Phelps, was murdered in 2006. Charles Eugene Burns, a Harford County laborer, was convicted of killing Phelps and sentenced to life in prison without parole in August.