Human remains identified as B.C. man missing since 1967: RCMP

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A B.C. man missing for more than five decades from the Coquitlam area has finally been identified, after human remains long-buried on a Gulf Island were exhumed for investigation, say B.C. RCMP.

According to a police statement Thursday, the man's family, who police are not identifying, first reported the 41-year-old missing to Kamloops RCMP on May 27, 1967.

The department launched a missing persons investigation, but the technology to link the remains with historical missing persons cases — DNA profiling — had yet to be developed.

in 2014, RCMP and BC Coroners Service special investigators turned their attention to a cold case from Aug. 20, 1972, involving human remains that were recovered from a beach on Saturna Island that year.

At the time, an autopsy was performed, the statement said, but the remains were never positively identified and were buried on neighbouring Salt Spring Island.

According to the statement, the remains were exhumed in September 2020, and using a DNA sample gathered from the man's daughter in 2014, investigators were able to identify the remains as those of the woman's father.

"In this instance, we were able to piece together the puzzle that had been challenging us on Salt Spring Island since 1972," Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey wrote.

Coquitlam RCMP have now taken over the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the man's death, the statement said.

The family, who RCMP say has asked for privacy, shared a message, thanking all who dedicated their time and efforts to bring the case to a close.