NORFOLK, Va. — Someone found a body in McCreary County, Kentucky in November 1986. Thirty-three years later, Kentucky state troopers said the body was identified as that of Gerald Swindell of Norfolk.
At the time the body was found, Kentucky State Police followed several potential leads, but the case went cold.
In 2016, there were efforts to try and identify the body. In late 2017, it appeared the remains could belong to Swindell.
The Kentucky coroner and a detective contacted a family member of his. The relative lives in California. A DNA sample was collected from the family member and tested at the University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center.
In May of 2019, the exam of the DNA determined that the person found dead in Kentucky was, in fact, 29-year-old Swindell.
"The technology and resources of today are far better than those of 1986," the McCreary County Coroner Tim Corder said. "This investigation was successful because of our ability to communicate with other agencies and coordinate our efforts. I am happy to be a part of helping provide some closure to the Swindell family after so many years of not knowing.”
Kentucky State Police still are investigating the case. There was not information about when Swindell disappeared or how he died.