Authorities in California have finally solved a baffling missing person case that dates back to 1986. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office recently confirmed the identity of human remains discovered in the desert as Dennis Earl Seger, a man reported missing after embarking on a road trip from Washington to Los Angeles.
The case had gone cold for years, but advancements in DNA analysis led to a breakthrough in June 2023, when the decedent was positively identified.
Discovery of Skeletal Remains in 1987
Nearly a year after the initial discovery, on Nov. 23, 1987, off-road motorists stumbled upon skeletal remains approximately eight miles north of Harvard Road and Interstate 15, around 30 miles from Barstow, California.
The tweet below verifies the news:
Officials identified human remains found in a California desert as a Washington man who was reported missing in 1986. https://t.co/LYCuL4wSES
— SFGATE (@SFGate) August 3, 2023
The remains were immediately reported to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office, but despite extensive efforts, the investigators were unable to identify the deceased and exhausted all available leads, leaving the case unsolved.
DNA Analysis Provides a Breakthrough
The turning point in the investigation occurred when a bone fragment from the remains was sent to the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Forensic Services.
Utilizing advanced DNA extraction techniques, the agency successfully identified the individual as Dennis Earl Seger in June 2023. Seger’s family had reported him missing to the Los Angeles Police Department after he left Seattle on Sept. 10, 1986, on a journey to Los Angeles.
Green Ford Torino Found in Barstow
Shortly after Seger’s disappearance, his green 1976 Ford Torino was discovered in the Barstow area on Dec. 30, 1986. The vehicle was subsequently impounded, further adding to the mystery surrounding Seger’s whereabouts.
Family DNA Samples Aid in the Identification
Determined to find closure, Seger’s family members provided DNA samples to the Los Angeles police, helping in the identification process. The investigation revealed no evidence of foul play, leaving questions about the circumstances of Seger’s death.
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