Remains found on B.C. Gulf island in 1972 identified as missing Kamloops man | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Remains found on B.C. Gulf island in 1972 identified as missing Kamloops man

A partnership between B.C. RCMP and the B.C. Coroners Service put DNA technology to use to bring a 54-year-old cold case to a close.
Image Credit: TWITTER/B.C. Coroners Service
January 28, 2021 - 11:52 AM

B.C. Coroners Service and RCMP have identified the remains of a Kamloops man reported missing nearly 54 years ago.

A DNA test was done from the remains of a body initially found on a Saturna Island beach in the Strait of Georgia, according to an RCMP release. Now a successful match has been found and the decades old cold case is solved.

The Kamloops man, who was 41 at the time of his disappearance, was last seen in Coquitlam in May 1967. RCMP did not release the man's identity.

"According to investigative reports, on Aug. 20, 1972 unidentified human remains were recovered on a beach of Saturna Island," B.C. RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey said in the release. "An identity was not established, despite an autopsy of those remains in the 70s."

The body was then buried on Saltspring Island until it was exhumed in September 2020 in an effort to solve the mystery with modern technology.

With the help of a DNA sample from the missing man's daughter, collected by Coquitlam RCMP in 2014, the B.C. Coroners Service finally solved case.

"Through scientific advancements in identification processes, we are now able to solve such historic cases. In this instance, we were able to piece together the puzzle that had been challenging us on Salt Spring Island since in 1972," Eric Petit, director of the B.C. Coroners Service special investigations unit said in the release. "The partnership we have garnered over the years with both the police and the BCIT lab makes success possible. Through collaboration, we are able to work as one team with the ultimate goal to provide families the closure they had been seeking for more than fifty years."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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