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Human remains found on B.C. beach in 1972 finally identified

Global News logo Global News 2021-01-29 Amy Judd
map: The human remains were found on Saturna Island in 1972 and then buried on Salt Spring Island. © Google Maps The human remains were found on Saturna Island in 1972 and then buried on Salt Spring Island.

A man from the B.C. Interior who went missing more than 50 years ago has now been identified.

BC RCMP and the BC Coroners Service said the man, who was 41 years old at the time, was last seen in Coquitlam on May 27, 1967. His family reported his disappearance to the local police in Kamloops and despite decades of searching he was not seen again.

According to investigative reports, on Aug. 20, 1972, unidentified human remains were recovered on a beach on Saturna Island.

Read more: ‘Trina is our heart’: Family and friends of missing B.C. woman post video to raise awareness

The remains did undergo an autopsy, the agencies confirmed, but they were buried on Salt Spring Island and the identity remained a mystery.

The remains were then exhumed in September, 2020, as part of the BC RCMP and the BC Coroners Service reviewing and revising historical missing person's cases.

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"After a lengthy scientific process performed at a British Columbia laboratory, complicated by the degradation of the remains, a DNA profile of the deceased was finally obtained," Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, spokesperson for the BC RCMP said in a release.

"As a result of a comparison, conducted by our partners with the BC Coroners Service Special Investigations Unit, an identity for the deceased was established thanks to the detailed work of investigators who had obtained a sample of familial DNA for comparison."

The DNA came from the missing person's daughter.

The family of the identified man, who wished to remain anonymous, shared a message to thank all RCMP members, the coroners, and the team involved in dedicating their time and efforts to bring this missing persons case to a close.

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