Since 1991, the skeletal remains of an unknown human were waiting to get the identity. Finally after 31 years the remains have been identified by the scientists with the help of forensic genealogy.

The skeletal remains were found on a private farm lane in Pickaway County, Ohio, in 1991. Earlier the remains were believed to be of a woman aged about 25 years, as they were small in stature and the place where they were found.

Further investigation revealed the remains had been buried in the shallow grave for no more than three years. Also with the advancement of forensic genealogy, the scientists came to know that the remains belonged to a man and may have had ancestors on the Indian Subcontinent.

The scientists of North Texas University extracted the DNA from the remains in 2012, and was subjected to forensic genealogy analysis.

At first the police officers tried to identify the deceased by conducting a search in their criminal DNA databases. But no results were found.

Then the company named Advance DNA uploaded the DNA profile to family tree databases over months. The company built an expansive family tree containing over 4,000 people. In fact their research stretched into Virginia, Kentucky, Canada and all the way to England.

With the help of family tree, the relatives were contacted for the analysis. The distant cousins and relatives reached the lab regularly for the DNA analysis in a hope that they would find any update regarding their lost relative.

The hard work of the scientists was proved fruitful and they developed a specific profile for the deceased and by using a multistep verification process, investigators determined the remains belong to Robert A. Mullins, of Columbus, Ohio.

According to Mullin’s family, he went missing sometime in 1988 or 1989 when he was 21 years old and since then no information from or about him came to them.

The Ohio police is now beginning their investigation in the direction of a homicide as the nature of crime scene was showing the circumstances of homicide.

Commenting on the case Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said, “This is a case about science advancing, DNA gets better all the time. We’re all going to die at some point, it’s one thing that’s certain about our lives on this earth, but what a tragedy to die unknown – to not have a name to put on a memorial. Today, that circle closes. And that’s the first step on the rest of justice,”


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