Body found in Norwich barn is positively identified as missing South Royalton teenager Austin Colson

Confirmation closes search that had been underway since mid-January

NORWICH - The Vermont State Police announced Saturday afternoon that the Office of Vermont's Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington has formally identified the human remains that were discovered Wednesday afternoon in a barn on Beaver Meadow Road as those of 19-year-old Austin Colson who disappeared on January 11th.

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    The announcement brings to a close the four-month-long search that began when Colson was reported missing on January 11th.

    Police and dozens of volunteers had scoured the hills of Norwich, Strafford, and Sharon at the behest of family members, concentrating their efforts along Beaver Meadow Road and Downers Road where a trailer of scrap metal that Colson had been out gathering on the day he disappeared was found.

    Police said the formal cause and manner of Colson’s death remain pending but stressed that their investigation is on-going even though affidavits filed in federal court earlier this year have made it clear investigators do have a suspect clearly in mind.  

Dana Colson (left), father of the missing teen, led search efforts each weekend including this one a week ago, just a few days before state police found the remains in a barn.   Here Colson hands out pink surveying tape for searchers to use to mark any potential evidence they came across.

 Investigators continue to ask that anyone with information about Colson’s disappearance contact the Vermont State Police Royalton Barracks at (802) 234-9933.

Jack Demar of Tunbridge sprayed insect repellent on his wife Gracia Rogers before the searchers set out last Saturday to look through Downer State Forest for clues

Dana Colson and other family members worked tirelessly to put up posters and look through swathes of forest for clues even though they said they were convinced that Austin had likely been the victim of foul play

Vermont News can be contacted at

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