The family of a 20-year-old hiker who vanished in September told FOX21 his remains were found on Wednesday.
Kevin Rudnicki went for a hike near Palmer Lake on September 2 and never came home.
“I had a normal conversation with him,” Kevin’s mom, Melissa Reynolds, said, “I said, ‘See you later, be safe.'”
FOX21’s Samantha Marks asked Melissa, “What do you think happened that day?”
Melissa replied, “I don’t know. We may never know.”
Since the day Rudnicki went missing, Kevin’s brother Andrew and Kevin’s best friend Cole have been searching for him nonstop.
Andrew said he never lost hope when searching for his brother.
“I knew I would find him eventually,” he said. “It was just a matter of time.”
On Wednesday, Andrew and Cole set out on what they assumed would be just another hike to try to find Kevin.
“It was very strange,” Andrew said. “We came around a corner and there he was, just, there.”
Andrew said he immediately knew it was his brother, and Kevin’s belongings were there, too.
Now, a sense of closure for the Rudnickis.
“It’s a process, and we’re just beginning to heal,” Melissa said.
We asked the Rudnickis what they will miss most about Kevin.
“His infectious smile and his beautiful green eyes,” Melissa said. “His curly red hair, great sense of humor.”
Now they know he died doing what he loved.
“This was Kevin’s backyard,” Melissa said. “This was where he spent his time. This is where he wanted to be. If that’s where he died, then he died in a place that he loved.”
The Rudnickis are still awaiting confirmation from the El Paso County Coroner’s Office that the body found was, in fact, Kevin’s.