NEW: A handgun and loaded magazines were found near the body
"It's been quite a week," says John Walsh of CNN's "The Hunt"
Shane Miller's remains were identified through dental records
He was the prime suspect in the deaths of his wife and two daughters
Watch CNN’s original series “The Hunt With John Walsh” at 9 p.m. ET Sundays.
A massive manhunt, touched off more than a year ago when a California man is believed to have killed his family, ended Sunday when authorities announced they’d found the man’s remains.
Shane Miller, the prime suspect in the deaths of his wife and two young daughters, was recently featured on CNN’s “The Hunt With John Walsh.”
His remains were found not far from where Miller’s truck was located in Petrolia, California, last year, said Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko. It was not immediately clear how long they had been there.
The remains were reported Friday on the banks of the Mattole River, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office, and were identified through dental records.
Miller was featured in Episode 1 of “The Hunt.” Authorities had been looking for him since May 2013.
On May 7, 2013, a 911 dispatcher got a call from the Miller residence. The sounds of breathing and crying, then loud bangs, could be heard before the line went dead.
When police arrived at the home, they found the bodies of Miller’s wife, Sandy Miller, and the couple’s two daughters – Shelby, 8, and Shasta, 5 – with multiple gunshot wounds.
Shane Miller quickly became the lead suspect in the case. After the killings, he, his truck and the family dog went missing.
Miller was later spotted by an ex-girlfriend in Petrolia, sparking the manhunt. He ditched his truck and authorities had thought he fled on foot into the mountainous forests of California’s “Lost Coast.”
His remains were found about 1,500 feet from Miller’s vehicle, the Sheriff’s Office said. Near them, authorities recovered a handgun and loaded magazines.
The ammunition in the magazines was consistent with ammunition found in Miller’s truck, and at the family’s slaying scene, the Sheriff’s Office said.
“The Hunt,” which premiered on CNN on July 13, aims to expose stories of ongoing criminal investigations of fugitives and expand the search internationally.
Last week, a 32-year-old suspected sex offender featured on the show died in a shootout in New York City as police closed in.
Investigators said they sifted through hundreds of tips in their search for that suspect, Charles Mozdir, but a phone call they got during “The Hunt” helped them crack the case.
“It’s been quite a week, and I think lots of people are relieved that both of these guys are off the streets,” Walsh said Sunday.
CNN’s Janet DiGiacomo and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.