DNA helps identify body of Texas man found in Michigan River in 1973

DNA helps identify body of Texas man found in Michigan River in 1973

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SAGINAU, Michigan (AP) — DNA has identified a Texas man whose body was found floating in a river in mid-Michigan nearly 50 years ago, police said Thursday.

Michigan State Police and the DNA Doe Project announced Thursday that the body found in the Saginaw River outside Saginaw on March 13, 1973, belonged to Daniel G. Garza-Gonzalez, who would have turned 29 two days later.

Garza-Gonzalez left Fort Worth hoping to find work in Flint, but his family never heard from him again, according to The Saginaw News.

According to the state police, an autopsy revealed that Garza-Gonzalez had been shot seven times and sustained a blunt force trauma to the back of his head. The medical examiner suspected that he had died about six weeks ago.

In 2020, the State Police Investigation Team and the State Police Missing Persons Coordination Team reopened the case and hair and bone samples were sent to the California Forensic Genealogy Lab.

A possible family match was discovered last summer by the DNA Doe Project, which seeks to identify previously unidentified remains. and linked the remains to a family in Beeville, Texas. The researchers obtained family DNA reference samples, which were sent to the FBI’s DNA lab for comparison.

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