The discovery marked a tragic end to a one-month-long search for the beloved longtime radio host. Vandergrift was reported missing to the San Francisco Police Department on February 23.
Police found his body just before 5 p.m. Wednesday and said there was no evidence of foul play. A coroner has not yet confirmed the Bay Area icon’s official cause of death.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner notified Vandergrift’s family. Natasha Yi is his wife and “The JV Show” co-host.
On March 1, Yi said personal information indicating “JV will not be coming back” had been found. Yi wrote, “I tell you this with incredible pain and sadness in my heart. My heart is utterly broken.” She thanked friends and radio listeners “for your love, support and prayers. I can feel your love and energy for JV, and I am so grateful for it.”
Vandergrift hosted his radio show on the same day he vanished. He spoke candidly to WiLD 94.9 listeners about suffering from Lyme disease. “The body and the pain and all that stuff, I can handle. What it’s doing to my brain, I could never describe to you,” JV said.
In a blog post titled “JV’s Journey,” he described “strange surges in my head,” brain fog, anxiety, and depression. The Fremont native was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2021.
WiLD 94.9 wrote in a statement Thursday, “With a heavy heart, we must confirm that the body found near Pier 39 on Wednesday afternoon has been identified as our dear friend, family member & colleague, JV. We are devastated to know now that JV is gone. JV, we’ll miss you. You are forever a Bay Area Icon.”
Radio hosts Graham and Selena have kept “The JV Show” on the air despite struggling with sadness and grief.
During one episode when Vandergrift was still missing, Graham tearfully told listeners, “He’s been a part of so many people’s lives. So many people have said, ‘I never met JV personally, but I know him personally. I feel like I know him.’ That’s what makes this even more difficult.”
Just moments after learning that JV’s death was confirmed on Thursday, Selena told radio listeners, “A body was found at Pier 39. I was hoping and praying that it was not JV. Our last show with him was February 23. I thought JV was someone who was always going to be here. Moving forward without him, I can’t even wrap my mind. It’s always going to be ‘The JV Show,’ especially as long as I’m here at wild. It hurts.”
Selena said, “People grew up with JV … across decades. He feels like a family member. I am glad we are here to continue his legacy of being kind, spreading love, and positivity.”
Graham and Selena said Vandergrift was the friend they turned to when they were going through a tough time.
Graham said JV was also his idol. He said, “I wanted to be JV. What this guy does is incredible. He was a visionary. He accomplished so, so much. He’s gotten me through tough times in my life. I am blessed and lucky I got to work with him and share this show.”