Ohio investigators were trying to identify human remains found decades ago when a lead led them to identify the remains of another person found nearly 200 miles away, authorities said Monday.
Investigators now believe they have identified both sets of remains, authorities said.
“Old-fashioned detective work, modern DNA technology and a serendipitous lead offered in one case but vital in another have led to the identification of two unidentified individuals in northeastern and central Ohio,” says a statement from Ohio District Attorney Dave Yost’s Office.
In August, the Mahoning County Coroner’s Office and Youngstown police released images of a clay facial reconstruction that an artist derived from human remains found in 1987 in Youngstown.
Anthropological analysis suggested that the remains belonged to a black man between the ages of 30 and 44. Investigators said at the time that they believed the remains had been at the site where they were discovered for three to five years.
Shortly after the images were released, Youngstown police received several leads, including one that investigators ultimately determined did not fit the Youngstown case, but did relate to a different statewide cold case in the county. of Fayette, the statement said.
In the Fayette County case, unidentified remains were discovered in 1981. The information helped the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation identify the remains as those of Theodore Long, the statement said.
“We are comforted that we no longer have to refer to this person by location, but by his name: Teddy Long,” Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth said.