DNA identifies body of missing Ohio man found in Florida

May 15, 2020 GMT

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — DNA evidence has helped authorities in Florida identify the skeletal remains of an Ohio man who went missing in 1993, sheriff’s officials said.

Wayne Calvin Griffith, 43, was reporting missing from his Ashtabula, Ohio, on Oct. 1, 1993. Survey workers found his decomposing body on Oct. 25 , 1993, near the Florida State Fairgrounds in Royal Palm Beach, the Palm Beach Post reported.

A medical examiner ruled the manner of death was homicide, but the case went cold.


On Monday, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office was notified of a DNA match by the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification. They had compared Griffith’s DNA to samples provided by his family, sheriff’s officials said.

Relatives told investigators they believed Griffith had traveled to Florida, the Post reported. Palm Beach County records show he had lived in Lake Worth in the mid-1980s and was married and had a child.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation received a tip regarding Griffith in February 2019 and opened an investigation with the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio authorities reported Wednesday.

Investigators in Ohio contacted Griffith’s family, collected DNA and uploaded it into the data base, the Post reported.

Ashtabula is located near Lake Erie, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Cleveland.