ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Missing Parma man William Mason was declared dead Monday by officials from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
Mason, 69, was last seen on Tuesday, May 25 around 10:30 a.m. near his home in the Town of Parma.
Last month, officials announced the case transitioned into a murder investigation after human remains were found in a fire pit near Mason’s residence.
Officials said in June then they believed the remains would later be identified as Mason, and that suspicion was ultimately confirmed by the medical examiner’s office.
“We can say that we have identified the remains in the fire pit that were on William Mason’s property and those remains do contain William Mason’s DNA and the medical examiner declared him deceased,” said Investigative Sgt. David Bolton.
Police say video evidence confirmed there was a fire in the aforementioned fire pit between May 25 and May 26.
“We do have video in the area and that video shows there was in fact a fire in that area in the late afternoon and overnight hours of the 25, which was a Tuesday, into the 26th, which was a Wednesday,” Sgt. Bolton said. “We have video that will show times leading up to the fire and the times after the fire.”
The investigator said there is no cause of death at this time as results from the medical examiner are still pending, and he couldn’t say if Mason was alive or dead at the time of the fire.
Sgt. Bolton said last month that there were two persons of interest who have spoken with authorities in regards to the investigation. At this time no arrests have been made.
July 19 police press conference
“We’re working with the district attorney’s office right now toward building our probable cause and making a case so we can hold the people responsible for this, truly responsible,” Sgt. Bolton said. “There’s a lot of speculation as to what he was doing just prior to whatever happened to him, but we cannot confirm any of that right now. We are looking at potential digital evidence that would help with this. There is a potential motive and we are working toward that.”
In late May, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, along with multiple local fire departments, the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit and the Massasauga Search and Rescue Team launched an exhaustive search effort of Mason’s property and the surrounding area.
Shortly thereafter, officials say the investigation was handed over to the Criminal Investigation Section, which began tracking and developing leads. Their involvement led to the execution of a number of search warrants being executed, including an extensive searches of a home at 592 Trimmer Road, and Mason’s West Ridge Road property.
“The search warrants that were executed included Mr. mason’s property, a home on Trimmer Road, and another location in the city,” Sgt. Bolton said. “All that was basically looking for video and trying to put people where we thought they were, we were trying to find where people were at critical times during this investigation.”
The MCSO has set up a tipline for Mason. Call 585-753-4175 if you have any information and investigators say they welcome all information anyone in the community may have.
“We’re always looking for help from the public,” Sgt. Bolton said. “As I said, this is an ongoing investigation. We are working closely with the district attorney’s office and we are looking to gather as much evidence or facts as we can in order to put together a solid case.”
Sgt. Bolton said at this time the public should have no concern for their safety as he believes this was a targeted event.
June 18 police press conference
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.