KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Earlier this week, Lisa and Jeff Stout finally received the call they had been waiting for about seven months.
Their son, Jeremy Stout, had been missing since May 2022. Police said they were able to identify human remains found in a vacant school in Knoxville as his.
Stout was scheduled to take a bus from Knoxville to Johnson City the day he disappeared.
“Whether he was missing or whether he’s now officially gone on, it’s hard either way,” Parent Jeff Stout said. “It’s just as hard now as it was before this time.”
Police told Jeremy Stout’s parents his remains were found just a block or two away from the bus stop he was supposed to take that day.
“I’m not happy with how long it took to find him when he was that close to the bus station,” Jeff Stout said. “He should have been found sooner, that area should have been canvassed.”
Stouts’ parents also raised concerns about the crime rate near the bus stop.
“What we seem to think is that he didn’t want to be at the bus station late at night because of the high homeless array and the high crime area,” Jeff Stout said.
The Stouts’ still don’t know what caused his death or if they will ever know for certain.
“There were times in his life that he struggled with drug addiction,” Jeff Stout said. “We feel like at this particular time he was doing well.”
Stout’s family said police are testing Jeremy’s remains to see if they can find out any information about the cause of his death. They were told that will take three to six months.
Now, they are choosing to remember the good times they spent with Jeremy.
“He would always say ‘I love you’ regardless of the circumstance and you knew that,” Jeff Stout said. “You knew deep down he was a genuine person.”
The Stout’s said they are grateful for the community which has shown them an outpouring of support over the past seven months.
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“We thank everyone from the bottoms of our hearts, that cared, that prayed, that seen the struggle that we went through,” Jeff Stout said.