MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Mesa County Coroner’s Office says skeletal remains found in 2019 have been identified as a man who has been missing since 1997.
In Dec. of 2019, a hunting guide discovered skeletal remains at an overlook in Gateway.
The coroner’s office and Othram, a DNA laboratory, partnered to identify the remains.
“Skeletal evidence was sent to Othram’s lab in The Woodlands, Texas, where Othram’s forensic scientists developed a DNA extract and used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the unknown man. Othram’s in-house genealogy team used forensic genetic genealogy to produce investigative leads that were returned to Mesa County Coroner’s Office investigators,” Othram said.
Who were the remains identified as?
The skeletal remains were identified as Larry Dean Watts. Watts was last seen with his brother in Grand Junction on June 16, 1997, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation said.
Watts was 48 years old at the time of his disappearance.
Watts’ cause of death has not been released. If you have any information about this investigation, please contact the coroner’s office at 970-244-1898.
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