Body Identified After Over 30 Years

Body Identified After Over 30 Years

( – When authorities discover a body, they do everything possible to identify it so they can notify the deceased’s family and investigate the death. However, sometimes, the state of decomposition makes this virtually impossible, so law enforcement must try other measures. Advancements in technology have made this process easier, and now, they have a variety of tools at their disposal to help identify older remains. DNA analysis has made it possible for police to put a name to a body discovered more than 30 years ago.

In an April 2 news release, the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office in New York announced it had identified a body found on April 8, 1992. The corpse, “badly decomposed and mostly skeletal,” had washed up on Lake Ontario’s shore. The medical examiner couldn’t pinpoint a date of death, specifying a period of six months to five years before authorities discovered the body. Unable to match it to a missing person’s case, the investigation went cold.

Then, in April 2022, 30 years after the initial discovery, the sheriff’s office renewed its efforts. It contacted offices in Canada to determine whether the body matched any of their unsolved cases. At that time, forensics specialists took a new DNA sample from the body. Authorities had to wait nearly two years before a familial match popped up in the databases in February 2024. From there, authorities could identify the body as the remains of Vincent C. Stack of Buffalo, New York. Stack had gone missing in December 1990 while in Niagara Falls State Park, and officials believed his body went over the falls. From there, it traveled 15 miles to the mouth of the river and an additional 130 miles to the shores of Lake Ontario, where it washed up.

The Oswego County Sheriff’s Office notified Stack’s family after they confirmed his identity.

This case wasn’t the only one the law enforcement agency has open. It had another similar cold case from 1983 that the department hopes to solve using similar techniques.

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