A Pulaski County man whose burned body was found Saturday was the victim of homicide, county Coroner Richard New said Monday.
Jeffrey Kevin Price II, 21, disappeared Nov. 9. That's when his Dodge pickup was found burning near the hardwood-lumber business north of Somerset where he worked.
New said the cause of Price's death had not been determined Monday.
Price apparently was killed around the same time he went missing, New said.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
On Saturday, someone riding an all-terrain vehicle saw a body in a brush pile off Strawberry Road in eastern Pulaski County, several miles from where Price's truck was found.
The body, later identified as that of Price, had been severely burned. That complicates efforts to determine what killed him.
"The reason people burn people is to destroy evidence," New said.
New said the spot where Price's body was found near a bend in a creek is remote and well-hidden. If someone hadn't stumbled on the body, Price could have been missing for a long time, he said.
Price's father said Monday that the discovery of his son's body was a relief. Family members had searched for his son every one of the 20 days he was missing, Jeffrey K. Price said.
"We looked hard for him every day. We cried every day. We wished every day," Price said. "That was torture."
The homicide is under investigation by the Pulaski County Major Crimes Task Force, which includes officers from the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office, the Somerset Police Department and Kentucky State Police.
Investigators have asked that anyone with information about the case call (606) 678-5145. Callers may remain anonymous.