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USA, CNN. The son was collecting stones, the mother found a fragment of a human jaw

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In the US state of Arizona, the mother of a boy who was collecting stones found a fragment of a human jaw. 22 years later, genetic genealogy experts confirmed that these were the remains of a US Marine Corps captain who died during military exercises in July 1951, the American television CNN reported.

The decades-long mystery is deepened by the fact that 30-year-old Captain Everett Leland Yager, who was killed during a military training exercise in July 1951 in Riverside County, California, was previously believed to be buried in Palmyra, Missouri, CNN reported.

Stone collection

A fragment of a human jaw was found in 2002 in northern Arizona by the mother of a boy who was collecting rocks. The Yavapai County office said the boy inherited the rock collection from his grandfather. The woman contacted the local authorities and told them about her unusual find.

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The sheriff's office received a fragment of a human jaw that contained several teeth. According to officials, she was probably found in the county. The DNA tests carried out at that time did not give the expected results, showing that the remains did not match the government database.

The matter was taken up by the university

The breakthrough came in January 2023, when the sheriff's office and the Yavapai County Medical Examiner referred the case to Ramapo College's Genetic Genealogy Center. The sheriff's office said in a statement that the university has cooperated with local authorities expressing its willingness to address the matter.

“Because (genetic genealogy) uses a different type of DNA testing than what law enforcement typically performs, the material from the previous DNA test had to be sent to a second laboratory,” said Kyrenn Binder, assistant principal of Ramapo College.

The material was sent to a crime lab in Salt Lake City, Utah, where it underwent advanced DNA genotyping, Binder said. From there, a profile was developed and submitted to two genealogy databases.

“It was truly extraordinary”

Last July, Ramapo College students concluded that the jaw fragment may be the remains of a U.S. Marine Corps captain who died during a military exercise in July 1951.

– It was really unusual, because usually when we solve a case, we are looking for a missing person who we cannot find in any files – said Binder. He admitted that when students mentioned the captain's name, when the circumstances of his death were already known and his military funeral was documented in public records, it was “confusing” for both university staff and students themselves.

The university reported its findings to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, which contacted Yager's daughter to confirm the DNA relationship. At the end of March, a DNA sample test gave a positive result.

It is not yet clear how the jaw fragment ended up in Arizona. According to Ramapo College, it is possible that it was carried by a bird from California.

Main photo source: Ramapo College IGG Center/X

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