LATHROP – The skeletal remains found by a bicyclist along Manthey Road last year have been determined to be those of a former trucking school student who has been missing since October of 2011.
Sukwinder Singh – a 22-year-old from Washington that arrived in Lathrop to attend the Damesh Truck Driving School – was last seen on Oct. 8, 2011 on De Lima Road, just north of where a cyclist made a grisly discover while out for a ride last April.
The San Joaquin County Sherriff’s Department excavated the remains of the site and sent them to the Human Identification Laboratory at Chico State University. Researchers from the forensic anthropology and bioarchaeology departments work with law enforcement to identify human remains that are discovered.
Through familial DNA they were able to determine that the remains were in fact those of Singh.
Members of his family in Kent, Washington, and nearby in Turlock grew concerned when they hadn’t heard from him and contacted local law enforcement authorities. Eventually the family posted a $5,000 reward for any information that might lead to his safe return, and Sheriff’s detectives investigated the matter further. He was never found.
Singh reportedly arrived in the north state after hitching a ride on an 18-wheeler. He had talked to the school’s owner – Ravinder Singh – about going down to Turlock to visit relatives before he came back to start classes. He gave $600 of the $800 that he had with him to family members for safe keeping, and headed back to Lathrop. It was there that he supposedly dropped his bags at a boarding facility and walked towards town.
According to family statements made to The Bulletin, Sukwinder Singh was seen in surveillance footage from both the Chevron gas station at the corner of Harlan and Lathrop Roads where he bought a burrito and a bottle of water and the Walgreen’s across the street where he bought mouthwash and a razor. Shortly after that he disappeared, and family members believe he was last seen using his cell phone on De Lima Road in front of the boarding house.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the San Joaquin County Sherriff’s Department at (209) 468-4400 or the “Text a Tip” line by submitting a text message at 274637 and typing SJSO, followed by a space, followed by the tip in the message box.