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Police identify body found in Jefferson County pond Sunday evening

Hillsboro police said the man, 21, had been reported missing through the county sheriff's office. The cause of death is under investigation.

HILLSBORO, Mo. — Police have identified a man whose remains were found Sunday evening in a Hillsboro pond.

On Thursday, the Hillsboro Police Department identified the man as 21-year-old Benjamin Gast. The medical examiner used dental records to confirm his identity Wednesday. Gast was reported missing through the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office on April 15. The cause of death is under investigation.

The department said it responded shortly after 6 p.m. to a pond on the 4700 block of State Highway B, where a citizen told police they found what they believed to be human remains.

"Our initial assessment of decomposition indicates the male has been in the water for an extended period of time," the department said.

The Hillsboro Fire Protection District deployed its water rescue team to remove the body, which was then taken to the Office of the Regional Medical Examiner. It was unclear how the man died or how long he had been in the pond.

Also Sunday evening, a 17-year-old boy drowned in the Meramec River in Bourbon. The Missouri State Highway Patrol said he was trying to swim across the river but became exhausted and went under. He later died at an area hospital.

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