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Massachusetts cold case unit wants to ID cases back to ’80s

April 24, 2022 GMT

TAUNTON, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts county’s cold case unit is working to identify a dozen unidentified bodies or skeletal remains that have been found through the years, some dating back nearly four decades.

Traditional methods using fingerprints or dental records have not resulted in their identification, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III said. At least two cases were determined to be homicides.

“We are trying to identify these remains so that family members can have some closure and to also determine if a crime was committed,” he said in a news release Friday. “Our Cold Case Unit has been successful in solving multiple cold case homicides and previously unsolved violent sexual assaults. The unit is now expanding its efforts to focus on unidentified remains. If anyone has any information related to these cases, please contact us.”

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Two of the oldest cases are baby boys who were found dead in the woods. One died of exposure in November 1983 in Freetown and the other, found in Mansfield in January 1985, was born alive, but died a short time later, autopsies showed.

The most recent case is a human skull in January 2021, found on the ocean floor southwest of Fish Island in New Bedford.