Jon Joseph Cleary

Jon Joseph Cleary with his sister, Jessica Wesner of Smyrna, Tenn.

A second set of human remains found south of Toppenish in early August has been identified as a California man who went missing with his friend in Yakima County in June 2019.

Jon Joseph Cleary of Huntington Beach, Calif., was 47 when he and Josiah Michael “Jo” Hilderbrand, 25, disappeared sometime on June 7, 2019, as they were heading to a Dead & Company concert at the Gorge Amphitheatre. The car they were traveling in, a 2004 Honda Civic hybrid, was found abandoned and partially burned in an orchard at 8100 Lateral B Road, roughly 8½ miles west of Toppenish.

Two sets of human remains were discovered Aug. 5 by a road crew working on U.S. Highway 97 about 10 miles south of Toppenish, near milepost 52.

Hilderbrand was identified through dental records, Yakima County Coroner Jim Curtice said. Cleary's remains were scientifically identified by dental recognition by a forensic odontologist, Curtice said Tuesday.

Cleary would have been 49 on Aug. 25.

The manner of death for the men is homicide and the cause of death remains under investigation by the FBI. Those with information about the men may call the FBI’s Yakima field office at 509-453-4859 or 1-800-248-9980. Tips may also be submitted at

"We are hopeful that justice will be served to the individual or individuals responsible for these tragic and senseless deaths," Curtice said.

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