Advances In DNA Testing Resolve Case
(WEST NIPISSING, ON) – A man whose body was found in West Nipissing in 2010 has now been identified thanks to advanced DNA testing.
On September 2, 2010, members of the former West Nipissing Police Service were called to an area on Lac Clair Road, north of Highway-17, where human remains had been found by a member of the public. The investigation was taken over by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) when the Nipissing West Service amalgamated with the OPP.
The postmortem examination found no signs of foul play, but the man had no ID and could not be identified. Missing person reports and fingerprint records were checked across Canada and the United States and details were also released to the media. Other public appeals included releasing a facial reconstruction of the individual.
In 2023 the OPP, in conjunction with the Office of the Chief Coroner (OCC), Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (OFPS) and Toronto Police Service, with support of the provincial Crown Attorney was able to utilize advanced DNA testing, known as Investigative Genetic Genealogy (IGG) testing or Forensic Genealogy. Through whole genome sequencing, the samples matched one collected from an individual listed in a family DNA tree. These results were then confirmed by additional family DNA testing by the OCC and OFPS.
The testing has confirmed that the identity of the body as a male who was born in 1964. Prior to his death he had been living in the Windsor area.
Investigators and Victim Services have spoken with the individual’s family.
As the matter did not involve foul play, and out of respect for the family’s privacy, we will not be releasing the male’s name.
The OPP, OCC and OFPS will continue to utilize this technology to review other historical cases of unidentified human remains.