Franklin County authorities received word Monday that human remains found 27 years ago have been identified as those of a Boonville area man.
“Case closed,” remarked Maj. Mike Copeland with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office who investigated the initial report April 18, 1986, after youngsters found the remains along the Missouri River bank at St. Albans in northeastern Franklin County.
Copeland said a lower jawbone, with no teeth, and some other bone fragments, including a partial pelvic bone, were found along the bank.
He said he did some research and learned that in 1985, the river level was high enough that it had covered that area, meaning that a body could have been washed down from a distance away.
Copeland sent the fragments to the FBI in June 1986 and they were later examined by anthropologists with the Smithsonian Institution. Those researchers later identified the bones as likely belonging to a white male between the ages of 50 and 65.
That information was placed into the NAMUS national data base of missing persons, Copeland explained.
In August 2010, the data base reported a possible match with a man who went missing in November 1985 in the Boonville, Mo., area.
Elbert C. Embry, 61, had walked away from the River Heights Care Center in the Boonville area.
Boonville Sheriff’s Department officers then contacted a brother of Embry and took a swab sample of his cells.
Copeland said he was informed Monday by the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s Office that the sample was a 99 percent match with the missing man’s DNA.