HEFLIN, Ala. (WIAT) — On Nov. 22, 1991, Jerome Morris got into a red sports car that pulled up outside of his home, never to be seen or heard from again. He was 18 years old.

The Heflin Police Department has spent more than 30 years trying to find any sign of Morris only to come up empty, until this week.

On Wednesday, Capt. Scott Bonner of the HPD announced that remains that had been found in a field nearly 25 years ago have now been positively identified as being Morris.

Bonner said that in the summer of 1997, someone was preparing property for a home to be built off County Road 533, where they found human remains. Police were subsequently called to the scene and evidence was collected.

“They attempted to do DNA testing, but were unsuccessful being outside so long,” Bonner said.

In 2020, Ross Mcglaughn became chief of the Heflin Police Department, who instructed the department to reopen certain cold cases, including the remains. After submitting them to a lab in Canada, the remains were positively identified as having belonged to Morris, who family was notified last Friday.

“I know it comes as bittersweet news to them, but now we can work this as a homicide instead of a missing person,” Bonner said.

Bonner said that due to the investigation still going on, he could not comment on the state of Morris’ remains or how they came to the conclusion that he was killed.

“Without compromising the integrity of the case, I can’t say how he died, but no doubt, it was a homicide,” he said.

Morris’ family spoke with CBS 42 back in 2016 on the 25th anniversary of his disappearance saying they were continuing to hold out for the best.