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After 41 years, remains of missing Florida man identified

Published: Saturday, July 09, 2016 @ 1:33 PM
Updated: Saturday, July 09, 2016 @ 5:07 PM
By: Ryan DiPentima - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

After 41 years, the remains of a missing Florida man have been identified.

According to the Ledger, Mark Duane Woodard was 19 years old when he went missing on April 14, 1975. His body was spotted in 1977 by two people in a wooded area in north Florida, yet the remains weren’t identified until June 23, 2016.

In 2009, two doctors sent out one of Woodard’s bones so that DNA samples could be extracted and placed in the Missing Persons Database. When the Polk County Sheriff’s Office was reviewing missing person cases in 2015, it came across Woodard’s case and sent DNA, which had been provided by his parents, to a Texas lab, according to the Ledger.

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The analysis found a match in the DNA, a finding that turns a missing person case into a death investigation.

"This opens up an investigation that will make a very cold case very active,” Lt. Ryan Robbins of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office told the Ledger.

Officials said the remains showed that Woodard had been shot, but they did not disclose where.

Detectives called Woodard’s sister Friday and told her the remains were her brother’s.