A mystery that played out over the course of 19 months came to a partial close last week when human remains were determined to be those of Enumclaw resident Kristian Burnstad.
Burnstad was last seen alive on Feb. 7, 2017.
Acting on a citizen tip, detectives with the Enumclaw Police Department and King County Major Crimes located Burnstad’s remains Sept. 1. They were found in the 38800 block of 258th Avenue Southeast, north of Enumclaw in the vicinity of Bass Lake.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office made the identification Thursday, Sept. 13.
The case remains open, with one major question looming: How did the 33-year-old perish? According to a press release issued Sept. 13, the Medical Examiner’s Office “will determine cause and manner of death at a later date.”
The release also noted detectives from the Major Crimes Division of the King County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Enumclaw Police Department, will continue to investigate the case.
When the remains were discovered Sept. 1, speculation immediately turned to the likelihood that Burnstad had been found. They were discovered just a short distance from where he had lived with his mother. According to social media reports, he was last seen when a friend dropped him off at the rural home.
Some of his possessions, which he had been carrying at the time of his disappearance, were found several days later.