Remains found near dirt road in 1980 ID’d as man who lost touch with family, cops say

The remains of a man who was shot to death have been identified after 43 years, Nevada officials said.

In October 1980, deputies found the remains of an unknown man by a dirt road south of Tonopah, according to a Feb. 28 news release from Nevada State Police.

The man was shot to death, police said.

Throughout the investigation, police tried to identify the man through interviews, fingerprints and dental records but were unsuccessful.

Police were able to develop a DNA profile for the man and entered the information in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, officials said.

In March 2022, the FBI and police asked Othram, a laboratory that specializes in forensic genetic genealogy for help, officials said.

After Othram provided police with new leads, the remains were identified as Albert Matas of Commerce, California, officials said.

Investigators later learned Matas had lost touch with his family in September 1978, police said.

The investigation remains ongoing and police ask anyone with information to call 775-684-7456.

The remains were found 60 miles south of Tonopah.

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