Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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December 20, 2012

Cold case turns to modern technology for answers

SALEM, N.H. —

Authorities exhumed the body of a man killed in 1969 in hopes modern technology can help them crack a 43-year-old cold case.

Law enforcement doesn’t know the identity of the homicide victim, just that his bullet-riddled remains were found in a drainage ditch along Interstate 93 years ago.

Initially, the victim’s remains will be taken to the medical examiner’s office to be re-autopsied.

Investigators hope to learn more about the man’s exact age and a better sense of his height and weight. There’ a possibility the autopsy can lead to the victim’s DNA being entered into the FBI missing persons database.

Forensic artist Harvey Pratt, who helped solve the BTK case in Kansas, has offered his facial reconstruction services — at no charge. “We hope he can recreate this guy’s face, and hope a family member or other relative will recognize him,” Salem Police Capt. James Chase said.

If and when the victim is identified, he said, detectives would begin to actively work the case.

“We’re waiting for a lead,” Chase said. “Now, we don’t have a lead.”

Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten said police always aim for 100 percent solvability.

“I would think it would go without saying, any time there’s an unsolved murder, there’s someone out there who committed murder and has not been charged,” he said.

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Details for this story were provided by The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass.

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