GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Authorities hope the popularity of DNA testing to trace family roots will help them identify a man who was beaten, burned and dumped in woods in South Carolina 45 years ago.
The man was found in woods just off state Highway 20 in Greenville County by a hunter who saw something wrapped in plastic in January 1975, WSPA-TV in Spartanburg reported.
The body appeared to be a man in his early 20s with dark skin about 5-foot-11, authorities said.
His picture was put in the paper, but he was never identified Authorities buried him and called him “Mister X.”
Now the Greenville County Coroner’s Office is digging up the remains and sending them to a lab to extract DNA, Coroner Parks Evans said.
They will take that DNA and try to match it to a database with DNA samples from genetic websites and other places, which could give them a lead on a possible relative, Evans said.
If they can identify the body, it gets easier to start tracking who might have wanted to kill the man 45 years ago, authorities said.
“When you are able to identify the person, then you start looking at this acquaintances and the people around him,” Evans said.
An arrest was made shorty after the body was found, but charges were dropped because of a lack of evidence.
“We are putting our faith in the technology. We are putting our faith in the investigators at the coroner’s office and hoping and praying that we can get some answers for ‘Mister X’ and get him identified,” Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Ryan Flood said.
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