The Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office and Coroner are now treating the discovery of a man found floating in the Walla Walla River as a homicide.

Back on January 29th, the body of 20-year-old Arcane J.  (AJ) Wilkinson of College Place was found floating in the river, near Madam Dorion Park, not far from Burbank. Officials now say he was discovered by a kayaker in the area in the early morning hours.

The body was ID'd as Wilkinson, who'd been reported missing by his family and friends. When he disappeared last December they said it was unlike him to just vanish, especially since he left behind many personal possessions. The last reported sighting of him was December 19th.

His cellphone was pinged a number of times, initially it came back with a location in Umatilla County, just past the Oregon border. But later pings in an effort to lead searchers came back with the phone having gone silent.

The coroner and Sheriff's Department say the case is now a homicide after discovering a gunshot wound to the victim. Officials didn't say where the wound was, or if it killed him, or if he drowned. More information is expected soon.

However authorities did say he had been in the water "for some time" but did not give a time frame.