Cold Case Breakthrough Indiana Man's 1997 Remains Identified After 25 Years

Cold Case Breakthrough: Indiana Man’s 1997 Remains Identified After 25 Years

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Skeletal remains discovered near a western Indiana highway bridge more than 25 years ago have been recognized as those of an Indiana man who went missing in 1997, authorities said Wednesday.

The remains belong to Mitchell Preston, a 47-year-old Anderson man who was last seen in that central Indiana city in August 1997 while on foot to California, according to Indiana State Police.

In January 1998, a state highway worker discovered the bones beneath an Interstate 70 overpass in Vigo County, near the Illinois border, some 120 miles (193 kilometers) southwest of Anderson. Efforts to identify them in the subsequent years proved futile.

However, last year, state police, the Vigo County Coroner’s Office, and the University of Indianapolis sent bone remains to Othram, a business that specializes in forensic genetic genealogy.

Othram created a DNA profile from the bones, and state police detectives began contacting prospective relatives of the still-unidentified victim.

Sgt. Matt Ames of the Indiana State Police stated that DNA obtained by some of Preston’s family assisted investigators in confirming that the remains are Preston’s.

While the organization stated that it is “pleased to bring some closure” to Preston’s family, his death remains a “open investigation” as per WISHTV.

State police investigators are requesting that the public contact them if they “may have seen Mr. Preston or have any knowledge of what might have happened to him.” Tips can be submitted to 1-800-225-8576.

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