Jack Cantin went missing after rains caused a devastating mudslide in California's Santa Barbara County in 2018

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Jack Cantin
Credit: courtesy

The remains of a 17-year-old teen were found three years after he went missing in a mudslide that devastated a California community, his mother told local news outlets.

Jack Cantin died in January 2018 when a mudslide caused by heavy rains swept through the wealthy beachside city of Montecito, killing 23 people and destroying more than 100 homes, KCBS reported.

The body of Jack's father, Dave Cantin, was found on the beach, while Jack's remains were never recovered. But a break occurred in May when remains were discovered about 1,000 feet from where the family once lived.

Kim Cantin, Jack's mother, told KEYT this week that a recent lab analysis confirmed the remains belonged to her son.

"All my mama fibers in my body said he didn't go to the ocean and I knew he didn't," Cantin told the outlet.

California Storms, Santa Barbara, USA - 09 Jan 2018
Credit: Mike Eliason/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Cantin expressed her gratitude for the members of her community who helped support her search for Jack over the years. She also praised the University of California, Santa Barbara Anthropology Department, and Dr. Danielle Kurin, a Forensic Biologic Anthropologist, for their help in identifying the remains.

"It was the love of all the people, whoever they were, who helped along the way," she said. "If it was neighbors providing access on property, if it was the Bucket Brigade, if it was my sacred search team which was about seven people who would come out with me all the time for three and a half years. And, Santa Barbara (County) Search and Rescue."

"What really made it all happen was engaging the UCSB Anthropology Department and Dr. Danielle Kurin, a Forensic Biologic Anthropologist. 20 minutes away from us — what amazing technology and resources to find Jack," she added. "And that's what they did."

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said in a statement on Thursday that despite the development, the investigation into Jack's disappearance currently remains open.

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"Sheriff / Coroner investigators are seeking the full report from Dr. Kurin. Once obtained, it will be reviewed as part of the ongoing investigation," the department wrote. "In the meantime, the case of Jack Cantin's disappearance remains open."

"We will continue to work closely with the Cantin family on this case, as we have since the day he disappeared," they added.

Cantin, however, has accepted the findings and is preparing to bury her child three years after his death.

"The amazing thing is, I will have Jack to bury at the cemetery next to his father, with dignity, so that I can have closure," she told KEYT. "My family can have closure. Jack's friends can have closure. And, the community can have closure. I know this community was amazing and everyone was rooting and praying that we'd find these kids."