DNA of mummified body found in Alton added to US database

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

ALTON, Ill. -- DNA test results of a man's mummified body found in Alton have been put in a national database, and authorities hope that will help figure out his identity.

Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn says the DNA tests were done by the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification. Nonn says the center put the results in the database, called the Combined DNA Index System.

"These kinds of cases are never simple. When we look at a skeleton or mummy, sometimes it is a protracted investigation," Nonn told the (Alton) Telegraph. "With just a collection of bones or a mummified body, just by sight you can't identify it. The process becomes much longer."

Nonn said it's hoped that someone "will submit some DNA and this will be a match."

The man's body was discovered in 2014, when a woman called police after her child told her about a body in a car.

Jarrett Ford of the Alton Police Department has said there's evidence the man may have been the victim of a homicide, but nothing is definite.

The man's body is at the St. Louis County morgue. It's not known how long it will be kept in St. Louis County if the remains aren't identified, the newspaper said. Nonn said the coroner's office prefers to let the family dispose of remains.

"We are going to give it an amount of time, hopefully we will get an identification and have remains to give to the family," Nonn said.

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