JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — NC Wildlife is investigating after human remains were found on Huggins Island near Hammocks Beach State Park in Onslow County last week.

Onslow County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded on July 9 at around 3 p.m. to the area of Huggins Island. The response was made after the human remains were found by teenagers while they were exploring the island.

A preliminary investigation revealed the remains were that of a missing kayaker, Warren Liner, 73, who was last seen on Dec. 31, 2021 while on a solo kayak trip in Bogue Inlet near Emerald Isle. Liner’s kayak and life jacket were recovered during a search on Bear Island not long after he was reported missing. The initial search of the area and investigation included members of the Coast Guard, NC Division of Marine Fisheries, NC Wildlife Resources, and NC Park Service.  

A further examination of the human remains will be conducted by the medical examiner’s office. The NC Park Service was planning to do a grid search for additional evidence on Monday.

The investigation continues and has been turned over by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office to NC Wildlife.