A Vancouver man missing since Dec. 22 has been found dead in a park about a mile from his home, according to family and police, KOIN 6 News reported.
The body of James Rennells, 41, was discovered on Dec. 27 among bushes near a creek in Leverich Park, the man’s sister, Janice Rennells, told reporters.
Vancouver police did not release any details, and said the cause and manner of the man’s death would be determined by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Officer, according to KOIN 6.
According to family, authorities informed Rennells’ family that his car had been found at the park, “ransacked with the trunk and hood open,” reported KOIN 6 News.
Rennells’ sister and his fiancée, Kashala Wilkinson, were part of a search party looking for him on Christmas Day, KATU2 reported.
“I’m just in shock right now. I don’t know how to feel, our baby needs him,” Wilkinson told reporters.
Rennells had last been seen at work on Friday Dec. 22.. He allegedly contacted Wilkinson around 9 p.m. to say he would be home soon.
He never arrived.
Wilkinson told reporters she and Rennells had plans to go Christmas shopping Saturday. The police contacted her later in the day to say Rennells’ car had been found not far from their home.
“There would be no reason that he would be here at all,” Wilkinson reportedly said. “We live like a mile and a half from here so why wasn’t he home if his car was here? It doesn’t make sense.”
Wilkinson said she planned to marry Rennells, the father of their 7-month-old daughter.
Rennells’ family say they are devastated by his death.
“It’s going to make every Christmas—it’s never going to be the same for me, it’s never going to be the same,” Rennells’ sister said. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life. It’s like someone took the breath from my chest.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist with funeral expenses and to help raise the man’s infant daughter.
“I love him and I miss him. I wish he was here, and I wish I could say goodbye,” Wilkinson told KATU 2.
“Our hearts are so heavy,” the GoFundMe statement reads.
“Jimmy is a father to a 7-month-old Jessie Mae who has heart problems and Kashala is unable to work because of that. Jimmy provides all the financial means to his fiancee Kashala and daughter Jessie Mae. Please help them during a time were most are celebrating with their families alleviating their worry.”