Authorities have confirmed that human remains discovered in early April near the shore of the Penobscot River were those of a teenager from Stockton Springs who jumped from the Penobscot Narrows Bridge in the fall of 2008.

Trooper Jonah O’Roak of the Maine State Police said by using dental records authorities were able to positively identify the remains as those of Mark Thomas Jr., who was 14 years old when he jumped from the cable-stayed bridge Oct. 7, 2008.

O’Roak said the remains were discovered on the afternoon of April 10, just off of Route 1 and near the Prospect town line, by a realtor who had been marking property lines in the area. The realtor told police she and her husband had found what they “believed to be human skeletal remains,” and O’Roak preliminarily identified them as such upon his arrival.

Detective Chris Tremblay from the State Police Criminal Investigation Division responded to the scene and served as primary investigating officer. Assisting O’Roak in evidence collection were Trooper Jon Russell and Detectives Scott Bryant and Jason Richards. Bryant and Richards are both members of the Evidence Response Team, as is O’Roak. Other officers who came to the scene were Sgt. Anna Love from CID and Sgt. Jeff Mills from Troop D.

Evidence was collected throughout the evening of April 10, and the next day Trooper Shawn Porter and K9 Tex came to the scene and located more evidence that was then processed by the detectives. Tex has special training as a cadaver dog.

An associate with the Maine Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta, where the remains were officially identified, cited the official cause of death as drowning suicide. Police officials waited to release information about the discovery of the remains until an official identification could be made and the teenager’s family could be notified. O’Roak said members of the State Police were in contact with Thomas’ family throughout the investigation.

On the afternoon of Oct. 7, 2008, witnesses reported seeing a male stop his car halfway across the bridge in the northbound travel lane, get out of his car and jump off the bridge. Area law enforcement agencies and emergency medical personnel responded to the scene, but after three days of searching for any sign of Thomas and not finding anything, the search was called off.