Skeleton found by river in 2018 alongside rubber chicken identified, Colorado cops say
Skeletal remains found with a rubber chicken and stone charm five years ago have been identified as those of a missing man, Colorado authorities said.
DNA testing helped identify the remains discovered in an unincorporated area of Weld County in December 2018 as Douglas Wayne Jackson, a missing man from Aurora, the Weld County Sheriff’s Office said in a release posted on Jan. 30 to Facebook.
Deputies found Jackson’s skeletal remains near the South Platte River with “some clothes, a backpack and other miscellaneous items,” including a 1/2-inch-long rubber chicken and heart-shaped stone charm, according to the release and a cold case file on the sheriff’s office website.
“It is believed the man was a transient and that he died in 2016 or earlier,” according to the sheriff’s office.
The man was also wearing a Colorado Division of Water Resources baseball hat, the sheriff’s office said. The department worked with the sheriff’s office, but “the information provided didn’t lead to a positive identification of our John Doe.”
The sheriff’s office said it does not believe Jackson’s death was a homicide.
Nearly two years later, the sheriff’s office released information, photographs of the “items found with John Doe” and “an artistic reconstruction of his face,” deputies said.
In March 2021, the sheriff’s office said it sent parts of the remains to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The agency got a DNA sample from the remains, which was sent to a laboratory for forensic genetic genealogy testing.
Genetic genealogy uses DNA testing coupled with “traditional genealogical methods” to create “family history profiles,” according to the Library of Congress. With genealogical DNA testing, researchers can determine if and how people are biologically related.
The laboratory results determined the remains possibly belonged to Jackson, the sheriff’s office said.
After contacting Jackson’s sister and comparing her DNA with his, the remains were confirmed to be Jackson’s, the sheriff’s office said.
Weld County is about 70 miles northeast of Aurora.
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