RIP: William 'John' Torrens was described as a character.

Moree missing man: Closure for family and friends of William 'John' Torrens after forensic testing confirms DNA of remains

Northern Daily Leader

The enduring guardians of the late William 'John' Torrens have expressed their sadness, but also relief, after finally getting the closure they'd been waiting for, nearly a year-and-a-half on from when the Moree man went missing.

Police confirmed on Friday that the skeletal remains discovered along the Mehi River in early-January are those of William 'John' Torrens.

While devastated to learn of Mr Torrens' death, his enduring guardians Toni McCarthy and Donnie Timmins were relieved to finally have some answers after many months of worry and uncertainty.

"We're just relieved," Ms McCarthy, who was listed as Mr Torrens' next of kin with Fairview, said.

"I cried, of course, but then I felt relief that we finally knew what happened and where he was."

Following Mr Torrens' disappearance, Ms McCarthy submitted a complaint about Fairview's procedures to the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, which has since been dealt with.

Ms McCarthy said they're now trying to sort out the legalities and find out when they can have a funeral for Mr Torrens.

In the meantime, she and Mr Timmins would like to thank everyone involved in the search.

"I'd like to thank police and Fairview staff, they went out of their way looking on their days off," Ms McCarthy said.

"Toro was quite the character and a lot of them [Fairview staff] were quite fond of him.

"I'd also like to thank the Moree and Collarenebri communities in general for their well wishes and continued searches - a lot of people just walked down the river every day searching.

"Don and I just want to thank all those people."

Fairview Retirement Village facility manager Jane Mackney offered condolences to Mr Torrens' family after being notified of his death by NSW Police.

"We offer our sincere sympathies to the family of Mr Torrens," facility manager Jane Mackney said in a statement.

The confirmation came following a 16-month search for the 75-year-old, who was last seen walking out of Fairview Retirement Village with a plastic bag on January 5, 2018.

Despite public appeals from his devastated family and extensive land and air searches of nearby areas, there was no trace of the elderly man, until bones were discovered on the banks of the Mehi River by a local on January 1, nearly a year to the day since Mr Torrens disappeared.

A crime scene was set-up during a three-day search of the area.

Initial forensics results of the bones had ruled out a connection to Mr Torrens, and the remains were forwarded to a specialist laboratory in Newcastle for examination. Investigators said further DNA and forensic testing has confirmed the remains are that of Mr Torrens.

New England police said the death is not being treated as suspicious and a brief of evidence is now being prepared for the coroner. It could take up to 12 to 18 months before the findings of the coronial inquest are handed down.