Police have officially confirmed the human remains found during a search last week near Moree are those of missing Gomeroi man, Gordon Copeland.
Forensic examination, which had been expected to take up to 'weeks' to complete, has successfully identified the missing 22-year-old father.
The news of his identification broke on Monday night, with family flooding social media with messages of sympathy for the family.
"Fly high now brother, it's not goodbyes [sic] it's see yah later."
"I'll forever cherish our memories growing up together gonna miss you heaps Gord you'll always be in my heart with unconditional love."
"Rest in peace my boy."
It was just 500m from where he was last seen.
The remains were found after two coordinated searches and ongoing police and family canvasses of the area failed to locate his body.
The third search, kicking off last Wednesday, was coordinated after a police discussion with the Coroner - a discussion facilitated after Mr Copeland's family sought legal advice from the Crown
Desperate family members, who had continued searching for him in their own efforts, were able to pinpoint locations of interest for the specialised personnel in the briefing.
The multi-agency search was done by a 70-stong police team and a 30-strong SES contingent, including officers from Marine Area Command, Police Rescue, Western Region Operation Support Group (OSG), the Dog and Mounted Unit, general duties officers, both small boat and drone-trained officers, and the NSW SES.
Mr Copeland's disappearance is subject to an independent critical incident investigation, being undertaken by Oxley police.
Investigators are continuing to prepare a report for the information of the NSW Coroner.
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