Remains of missing Lantana man Nathan Cauley found in Boca Raton

BOCA RATON–– Human remains found in a wooden area last week are those of a Lantana man who went missing in December, a police spokeswoman said this morning.

The remains of 23-year-old Nathan Cauley were found by a homeless man in the area of 7940 North Federal Highway March 14, said Boca Raton Police spokeswoman Officer Sandra Boonenberg.

Someone called police saying the homeless man came into her workplace saying he found a body nearby.

Police responding said the body appeared to have been there for "several months" and had not found anything suspicious.

An autopsy was performed Wednesday by the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner. Cauley's cause of death is pending.

Cauley had been missing from his halfway house since Dec. 23 of last year. He was last seen that day in Delray Beach in the area of Linton Boulevard and Federal Highway around 3 p.m.

In February his parents Sue and Pat Cauley came down to Lantana from Michigan asking for the public's help in finding their son.

They said their son had completed three years toward a business degree at Michigan State University when, on his birthday, he put his education on hold and headed to Delray Beach to address a bigger issue in life: his alcohol addiction.

Before he went missing, Cauley was calling his parents every other day, texting and emailing friends.

Police previously recovered his Dell laptop from a pawnshop in Delray Beach where he had sold it for $100.

Pat Cauley said his son may be depressed. But the couple said it was unlike their son to have no contact via phone, text or even Facebook with his numerous friends for nearly seven weeks.

When Lantana Police first notified the public asking for aid in finding Cauley, they described his tattoo: a four-leaf clover on the upper right side of his back. The dates "6-28-11" and "6-29-11" appear on either side of the clover.

The dates, his mother said, refer to his first sobriety that lasted until 6-28 and his relapse.

If anyone has information regarding Cauley, call Boca Raton Police Det. Ronald Mello at (561) 620 6184.

Staff reporter Sonja Isger contributed to this story.

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