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OPP confirm remains found are missing Thornbury man

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OPP have confirmed that human remains found in Georgian Bay Township belong to 60-year-old Eric Spencer, who went missing in 2018.

It was mid-October 2018 when Eric Spencer was last seen in Honey Harbour.

A full-scale search by the OPP for the then 60-year-old from Thornbury scaled back when the search came up empty.

Then reignited one year later, with no trace of Spencer anywhere, Spencer's sister got in touch with the non-profit group "Please Bring Me Home."

"When Eric entered those woods, there has been no other evidence to suggest that he exited those woods," said Nick Oldrieve, executive director of Please Bring Me Home.

Six volunteers entered Honey Harbour on Sunday following a creek near where Spencer was last seen.

A search was encumbered.

"The swampiest area that we've ever been in. So every two feet you step out, you're in another, you know, another swampy area," said Oldrieve.

The team devised a plan to stay on the perimeter, hoping that his body would have likely drifted out after six years.

Then, at 10:30 that morning, "We were at the northmost end of this swamp just kind of turning around to come around the other side. And we had located what was clearly human remains at the time," said Oldrieve.

Police were alerted to the situation and brought in to retrieve the remains.

The Office of the Chief Coroner, with assistance from the OPP Forensic Identification Unit and the Centre of Forensic Sciences, confirmed the identity of the remains on Wednesday.

Police say foul play is not suspected in this investigation.

Oldrieve's work continues long after the search has ended.

"Organizing some counselling services, getting in touch with victim services, whatever it is we can do to ensure that they're supported all the way through this journey of grief," said Oldrieve.

Now, at the time Spencer went missing, it was a bit unclear what drew him to Honey Harbour.

Oldreive says he does have ties to the area, with a family campsite close to the area.

But what made him stop and enter the woods where he did is something we likely will never know.

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