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(Bonne Terre) (AP) – Human remains found in an eastern Missouri septic tank have been identified as those of a Cape Girardeau tattoo artist missing since December.

The Southeast Missourian reports authorities in St. Francis County made a positive identification Friday of 38-year-old Samuel Francis.

The decomposed remains were found Thursday on unoccupied property near Bonne Terre, about 70 miles north of Cape Girardeau. Officials said the discovery followed a lengthy missing-person investigation.

County coroner James Coplin says it could take weeks to determine how Francis died.

His father, Gary Francis, told the Southeast Missourian earlier this year his son left Cape Girardeau for St. Francois County in December with members of a motorcycle gang demanding tattoo work.

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