The remains of former Riverhead Town Councilman and ex-Riverhead police officer Tim Buckley have been found in a wooded area of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The family was notified yesterday by the Horry County Police Department that remains discovered yesterday about nine miles from where Buckley was last seen on Sept. 29 were believed to be that of the former Wading River resident. 

“A positive ID was made this morning by the Horry County coroner’s office,” said family friend Patrick Mulcahy of Wading River, who is in South Carolina to assist the family.

“The case has now gone from a missing persons case to a homicide,” Mulcahy said. “The Horry County Police Department is actively pursuing the investigation.”

Horry County Coroner Robert Edge told Myrtle Beach Online that Buckley was identified through dental records, and his manner of death is believed to be a homicide. The Myrtle Beach website first reported the discovery yesterday afternoon.

Buckley, 51, was reported missing on Sept. 30 and was last seen just after 9 p.m. the night before in the area of Springmaid Resort, as he was heading to his camper.

“The police department down here has done an outstanding job,” Mulcahy said. “The family is very appreciative of the Horry County Police Department and the Myrtle Beach city police.”

Buckley’s wife Ruth has been very ill. The couple has three teenage daughters. 

“They ask that everybody respect their privacy and keep Tim and them in their prayers,” Mulcahy said.

Locally, Buckley lived in Wading River. He was appointed to the Riverhead Police Department in November 1988. He was the department’s officer of the year in 2005 and retired in August 2007 to run for a seat on the Riverhead Town Board that November. Buckley won the election and took office in January 2008, but abruptly resigned from the post in February 2009, citing personal reasons, after his wife became ill.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the family,” Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said this morning.

“He was a good friend of mine. It’s a terrible loss for his family and friends and for the town fo Riverhead,” Walter said. “He was one of those guys that when you met him, you automatically liked him.”

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.