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Joseph McHenry, (Courtesy the San Bruno Police Department)

SAN BRUNO -- A foot and section of leg that washed onto a Pacifica beach in March belong to a San Bruno man who disappeared after telling his family he was going camping and hiking in the area, authorities said Wednesday.

Using a DNA comparison sample from his mother, investigators confirmed the appendages were from 27-year-old Joseph McHenry, who was reported missing March 5, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said. No other trace of the rest of the former Marine's body has been found.

San Bruno police Lt. Geoff Caldwell said the case is "for all intents and purposes closed." He said it is unclear what may have led up to McHenry's disappearance or how he could have ended up in the water.

McHenry was last seen March 2 as he prepared to go on an overnight camping trip in Pacifica. After his family reported him missing police found his car near Sharp Park Golf Course and discovered his backpack on the beach near Mori Point. Marines from around the country came to Pacifica to help search for McHenry.

The next sign of him came when a fisherman spotted the foot in the surf off a Pacifica beach March 25.

Investigators sent a DNA sample from the foot to a state laboratory in Richmond and got the results back May 7, but didn't make the information public until now.

Without more evidence or a court order, the coroner's office cannot declare him dead, Foucrault said. Albeit remote, there is a still a chance he could be alive somewhere, he added.


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Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.