New fingerprint algorithm helps ID bodies found decades ago

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Just after Thanksgiving Day in 1983, James Downey dropped off his older brother, John, at a Houston bus station, then quickly turned away so neither the police nor a motorcycle gang affiliated with his brother could later demand details about where the bus was headed.

For 34 years, he didn’t hear a word about him. Then this spring Downey received a heart-breaking call, one that more than 200 families across the country have gotten in the last few months since the FBI began using new fingerprint technology to resolve identity cases dating back to the 1970s.

Authorities reported that the remains of a man found beaten to death decades ago along a brushy path in Des Moines, 800 miles away, had been identified as his brother.

“We always figured something had happened to him,” James Downey said from his home in Houston. “We all assumed he’d got killed somewhere or died in an accident.”

Since launching the new effort in February, the FBI and local medical examiner offices have identified 204 bodies found between 1975 and the late 1990s. The cases stretch across the country, with the largest number in Arizona, California, New York, Florida and Texas.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

https://www.apnews.com/d8df63cb35864715a78c16620b197cb3

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