Denver Medical Examiner’s Office IDs man after 23 years
DENVER (DPRK) — A man found near a river in Colorado in 1999 has been identified 23 years later and authorities are hoping his loved ones can find closure.
The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner reports that there has been an average of about one unidentified person per year since 1980, and many of them probably did not have access to stable housing.
Preston Christensen, 52, who was found near the South Platte River in December 1999, has been identified as one such person, according to authorities.
At the time, coroners speculated in their report that he was either Caucasian, Hispanic, or Native American. They also thought he was over 35 years old and weighed just 105 pounds.
The Denver Public Health and Environment announced a breakthrough in the case Wednesday after 23 years.
Initially, coroners only had a clay model of the man’s face, but investigators have since been able to identify him using DNA testing.
“It took 23 years for our Medical Examiner’s Office team to identify a man who was found dead in 1999. All they had was a clay representation of the man’s face. They used his DNA to identify a family member,” the DDPHE tweeted. “We hope the family of Preston Christensen, 52, of Minnesota, finally has some closure.”
Of the cases of unidentified persons listed by the Medical Examiner’s Office, three of 18 cases dating back to 1970 have been closed after identification, with the other 15 remaining open.
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