DNA analysis IDs Saint John man after body found in Digby County

A 43-year-old man from Saint John has been identified through DNA analysis as the person whose body was found last September along a shore in Digby County, N.S.

RCMP Cpl. Jen Clarke said it appears his death was not suspicious. She said he was reported missing in the Saint John area late last summer. His body was found on Sandy Cove Beach on Sept. 8.

Police are not releasing the man’s name or his cause of death. Clarke said Nova Scotia RCMP would be assisting Saint John police to determine exactly what happened. 

Last week, RCMP released a reconstructed image of the man’s face after working with students in a forensic reconstruction workshop at the New York Academy of Art.

Clarke said the Nova Scotia medical examiner’s office had already been trying to identify the man with DNA analysis, and in the end the photo didn’t factor into discovering who he was.

However, she said investigators were impressed with the public’s response to the image of the unidentified missing man and his clothing, of which police also released photos

“We’re very appreciative of the amount of interaction we saw online — people trying to help and lending their ideas to the post, which is great,” she said.  

“It was really overwhelming. A lot of people trying to track down the brand of pants, trying to track down boots — where they might have been purchased from, what they might have been used for, which might have helped identify the individual.”

Sculptors spent a week in early January working to put faces on 3D-printed copies of skulls from the remains of 15 unidentified men found in Canada. It was is the first time the RCMP’s National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains worked with artists in the program.

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