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Thread: Oregon's oldest cold case solved after authorities identify remains of young boy found more than 50 years ago

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    Oregon's oldest cold case solved after authorities identify remains of young boy found more than 50 years ago

    A dead blond boy found fully dressed and wrapped in a blanket more than 50 years ago has been an identified through genetic genealogy, bringing an end to one Oregon's oldest mysteries.

    A fisherman discovered the child's decomposed remains on July 11, 1963, in the water of the Keen County Reservoir in Jackson County, according to Oregon State Police. Authorities also found iron weights inside a patchwork quilt wrapped around the boy, which they suspect was a bid to weigh his body down.

    Despite an exhaustive investigation, the child's identity remained a mystery for decades.

    In 2008, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office exhumed his body from Hillcrest Memorial Park cemetery to collect a DNA sample. The following year, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created a composite image while The University of North Texas-Center for Human Identification uploaded the boy's DNA profile to the law enforcement database CODIS. Neither of the efforts turned up any new information or tips, police said.

    Ten years later, the Oregon State Police Medical Examiner's Office was awarded an NIJ grant, which allowed for them to use genetic genaology in the cold case. The technique, which has recently helped identify suspects in unsolved cases, compares DNA evidence with the samples people voluntarily submit to websites that trace their lineage and ancestry.

    It allows investigators to create a much larger family tree of the person they are working to identify.

    CeCe Moore, Chief Genetic Genealogist with Parabon Nanolabs, searched the open-source DNA database GEDmatch and several relatives of the unidentified boy were found ' including a man who told investigators he had a younger brother with disabilities named Stevie, who 'mysteriously vanished from the family with little explanation' in the 1960s, police said in a statement on Wednesday.

    The man agreed to share DNA with authorities, which ultimately confirmed the unidentified remains belonged to his younger brother, Steven Alexander Crawford.

    'This disabled little boy was loved and missed by his siblings, and deserved to have a name and identity. Stevie's case was a very emotional one for all of the investigators involved,' Moore told ABC News.

    'Once the genetic genealogy research led to his family, the fact that his surviving family has been very loving and willing to assist has been a great comfort.'

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    Senior Member Bewitchingstorm's Avatar
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    So sad, but thank goodness he has been identified. I read another story about this - his mother (now deceased) came home one day without him and said no one needed to worry about him any longer.

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