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Crime 37 years later, remains found in Wisconsin identified as White Bear Lake man

16:55  08 january  2020
16:55  08 january  2020 Source:   twincities.com

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Remains of a homicide victim discovered in the Wisconsin woods more than 37 years ago have been identified as those of a White Bear Lake man , authorities said. Decomposed human remains found near Highway 25 in Barron County, Wisconsin in 1982 were identified as Kraig King

After 37 y ears, remains found in the woods of Barron County, WI have been identified as Kraig King of White Bear Lake , who disappeared in 1982. — The identification of human remains discovered in western Wisconsin 37 years ago solves one mystery that has stumped Barron County investigators.

After almost four decades, law enforcement officers and DNA genealogists have identified the human remains discovered by loggers in a wooded area near Ridgeland, Wis., in 1982.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: The Barron County sheriff's office released this 1979 photo of Kraig King of White Bear Lake who was a high school senior at the time. Remains found in 1982 near Ridgeland, Wis., were recently identified as belonging to King. The manner of death was ruled homicide.(Courtesy of Barron County sheriff's office)© Provided by Twin Cities Pioneer Press The Barron County sheriff's office released this 1979 photo of Kraig King of White Bear Lake who was a high school senior at the time. Remains found in 1982 near Ridgeland, Wis., were recently identified as belonging to King. The manner of death was ruled homicide.(Courtesy of Barron County sheriff's office)

Now, Barron County Sheriff’s Department investigators must solve another mystery: Who killed Kraig King of White Bear Lake?

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Remains found in western Wisconsin in 1982 have been identified as those of a Minnesota man The DNA Doe Project is a nonprofit volunteer organization formed to identify unidentified remains Commissioners in Beltrami and St. Louis counties are expected to vote on the issue later today.

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The remains of King, a 1979 graduate of White Bear Lake High School, were found on Sept. 21, 1982, by loggers working in a wooded area on private land just off Wisconsin Highway 25, about four miles north of Ridgeland.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Kraig King in 1979.© Provided by Twin Cities Pioneer Press Kraig King in 1979.

An autopsy determined that King had died by homicide in either April or May 1982. He suffered “three puncture wounds to the chest area with a sharp object that were so deep they left cut marks on the victim’s thoracic vertebra,” according to police reports. His skull and lower jaw were found about three feet away from his skeleton.

King, who was an adult, was never reported missing, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said, and the case eventually went cold.

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Hikers found the remains October 5, and authorities recovered the remains the next day. Wednesday, police positively identified the deceased as 24- year -old Blake Richardson. Police initially suspected the remains were that of Richardson but did not make formal identification until this week.

Loveless's torso was found in an Idaho cave in 1979, stuffed in a sack. The body was positively identified in 2019 with the help of the DNA Doe Project, which noted that the identification was the oldest one they had ever made. Joseph Henry Loveless was born in 1870 in Payson, Utah Territory.

“1982 was a long time ago,” Fitzgerald said Tuesday. “People did things differently back then. There’s no right or wrong. Law enforcement was done differently in 1982 vs. 1992 vs. 2002. …  Hopefully, now, the family can have some closure.”

King’s parents, Paul and Judy King, declined to comment when reached by phone at their house in White Bear Lake. “This is very, very painful,” she said.

Investigators from the Barron County Sheriff’s Department informed the Kings about a week ago that their son’s remains had been identified.

“They were happy to know where he was, and that we know it was him,” Fitzgerald said. “They were relieved about that. All those years, you don’t know that answer, and now you know that answer. Obviously, it’s hard to hear the murder part of it, so now we work the second part of this murder investigation.”

Volunteer genealogists with the DNA Doe Project, a nonprofit volunteer organization formed to identify unidentified remains using forensic genealogy, are credited with discovering King’s identity.

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(FOX 9) - Wisconsin authorities say they have identified the remains of a White Bear Lake , Minnesota man who was killed in 1982. On September 21, 1982, loggers found a pile of clothes at a site north of Ridgeland and later discovered it to be a badly decomposed body.

- Officials say human remains found in Kay County earlier this month have been identified as that of a missing man . The paper reports the remains were confirmed as belonging to 20- year -old Quinten B. Rouch by the medical examiner’s Oklahoma City man ’s murder remains unsolved two years later .

After uploading King’s DNA to a GEDmatch.com database on Dec. 12, they had a match almost immediately, said forensic genealogist Jenny Lecus.

“It was our fastest ‘solve’ ever,” said Lecus, who lives in Franklin, Wis., a city in southern Milwaukee County, and served as the team lead on the case. “We got it down to that family almost immediately.”

a close up of a newspaper: A poster shows an artist’s conception of what human remains found in western Wisconsin in 1982 likely looked like before death and a 1979 photo of Kraig King, who was identified as the remains. (Courtesy of the DNA Doe Project)© Provided by Twin Cities Pioneer Press A poster shows an artist’s conception of what human remains found in western Wisconsin in 1982 likely looked like before death and a 1979 photo of Kraig King, who was identified as the remains. (Courtesy of the DNA Doe Project)

Lecus contacted Barron County investigators, who checked databases and determined there was no indication of “proof of life” for King after the date the remains were found, she said. “They were able to contact family, and they were finally able to make that confirmation.”

Figuring out the identity of someone who has been a “John or Jane Doe” is exhilarating, Lecus said.

“We’re overjoyed,” she said. “There’s excitement every single time. Your heart starts beating, and you have butterflies in your stomach. … But then you start thinking about the family. It’s bittersweet. At least they’ll know, but it’s not good news. We absolutely hope that it will lead to finding the person who committed the crime.”

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WHITEHORSE — It took nine years , but Mounties in Whitehorse have been able to identify human remains found on a local trail as those of a British Columbia man . Police say a mountain biker travelling along a trail off Long Lake Road discovered a human head in 2009

White identification is not necessarily a sign that Hispanics consider themselves white . Many or even most might identify their race as “Hispanic” if it were an explicit option. White identifiers are likelier to be second- and third-generation Hispanics than foreign- born and noncitizen Hispanics.

Barron County officials learned about DNA Doe Project from an agent with the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation who helped investigate the Jayme Closs case. Officials submitted the remains of King and bones that were found in 2017 south of Barron that belonged to a man who died of a gunshot wound to his head area; Lecus is working on this case as well, she said.

The bones were found about six miles from where King’s remains were found in 1982 “on the same road, just off of Highway 25,” Fitzgerald said. “It sounds suspicious, but they don’t appear to be connected. It’s a 12-mile road. It’s a corridor to Minneapolis through Menomonie.”

Melissa Cowley-Huff, of Chippewa Falls, Wis., said Tuesday that she was glad the mystery of King’s identity had been solved. Her father, Michael Cowley, of Barron, Wis., who died in 2016, was one of the loggers who found the body.

“They kept smelling something,” she said. “They thought a deer had died nearby and they kept having to work around it, so he said they stopped working to try and find where it was so they could bury it, so that they didn’t have to keep smelling it. … We always wondered if they found out who he was or what happened.”

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Sara Schoetz Werzel, of White Bear Township, learned the news from a Facebook page devoted to the White Bear Lake Class of 1979. She and King used to “walk to kindergarten together,” she said, and their families both went to St. Mary’s of the Lake Catholic Church in White Bear Lake.

“I saw it, and said, ‘Oh, my gosh, that’s Kraig King,’ ” she said. “I hope all can be put at rest now, and there will be closure for his family and friends.”

The Barron County Sheriff’s Department is asking the public for any information on King and why he would have been in the area in 1982. “We’ve already gotten some calls,” Fitzgerald said. “Somebody knows something.”

“What we have learned in the past year is, you never give up hope. No matter what, you never give up.”

Gilgo Beach murders: Photo shows initialed belt handled by suspected serial killer .
Gilgo Beach murders: Photo shows initialed belt handled by suspected serial killerSuffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart revealed a photograph of a black leather belt embossed with the letters WH -- or HM depending how it's held -- as she made a pitch for public help in solving the nearly decade old mystery.

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