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Laurentian Hills body found in 2001 identified through advanced DNA testing

An Ontario Provincial Police vehicle is pictured. (Source: OPP) An Ontario Provincial Police vehicle is pictured. (Source: OPP)
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A man whose body was found in a remote area about 190 kilometres from Ottawa in 2001 has been identified thanks to advanced DNA testing.

Police say genetic testing confirmed the body is that of a man from Drumheller, Alta. born in 1962.

The man was found on Sept. 5, 2001 when members of the Ontario Provincial Police found his body in an outhouse at a remote cross-country ski shelter in the Laurentian Hills. Police say it appeared he had been using the outhouse as shelter for some time.

The person's identity could not be confirmed at the time, despite numerous missing person reports and fingerprint records being checked with law enforcement across Canada and the United States.

OPP say advanced DNA testing, known as Investigative Genetic Genealogy (IGG) testing or Forensic Genealogy was used.

Through genome sequencing, the samples matched one collected from a person listed in a family DNA tree. The results were then confirmed by additional family DNA testing by the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (OFPS) and the Office of the Chief Coroner (OCC).

A post-mortem examination in 2001 found he had died as a result of a medical condition and not the cause of foul play.

Police are not releasing the man's name out of respect for his family and because his death was not considered suspicious.

Investigators and Victim Services have spoken with the man's family. It is not known why he was in the area where his body was found.

The OPP, OCC and OFPS say they continue to utilize the technology to review other historic cases of unidentified human remains.

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