The body of a man found in woods at Sturry near Canterbury in April has finally been identified.
A member of the public found the bones of John Phillips, who was 77 when he disappeared from his home in Manston on March 20, 1998.
They were hidden in undergrowth at Kemberland Woods around 150 yards off the Herne Bay Road.
Police vehicles at Kemberland Woods where a body was found
Police have been working with the Missing Persons Bureau to establish the man's identity.
They made the initial identification using descriptions of his clothing and followed that up with DNA evidence for confirmation. A forensic archaeologist and a forensic odontologist also helped in the identification.
A post-mortem examination of his body was not able to reveal a cause of death.
But there were no signs of trauma so police do not believe his death was suspicious.
A police cordon was thrown around Kemberland Woods after the discovery of a corpse
Detectives have established that a relative of Mr Phillips's lived near the wood and that he may have known the area.
His son Barry said: "We are relieved as a family that dad has finally been found, but obviously very sad about the circumstances."
DCI David Chewter, from Kent Police, said: "I hope that it is a comfort to the members of Mr Phillips's family that we have been able to provide an answer for them. They are in our thoughts at what must be a difficult time."