Body of man found in septic tank in 1977 identified using genetic genealogy: RCMP

·1 min read

EDMONTON — RCMP say they have identified a man whose burned body was found in a septic tank on an abandoned Alberta farm 44 years ago.

Staff Sgt. Jason Zazulak says the victim is Gordon (Gordie) Edwin Sanderson, an Indigenous man from Manitoba who was living in Edmonton when he died.

Zazulak says investigators were able to identify him by using genetic genealogy, a new investigation method that helped police in California identify the Golden State Killer.

He says Sanderson’s DNA was matched to his sister, who had lost track of him.

Zazulak says Sanderson and his two other siblings were part of the ‘60s Scoop, a child welfare practice in Canada where Indigenous children were removed from their families and placed in care.

Sanderson's body was found outside Tofield, Alta., a rural community east of Edmonton, in April 1977.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 30, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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