43 years after his bones were found in the Ohio River, DNA tests identify him

Kentucky State Police investigators have identified a man whose bones were discovered on the banks of the Ohio River more than 40 years ago on two separate occasions.

DNA tests in 2023 assisted authorities in identifying the guy as Kenneth Linville, a native of Ohio who was roughly 40 years old at the time of his death. According to a press statement issued Saturday by Project Justice, a Las Vegas-based group, the bones were discovered in Switzerland County, Indiana in September 1980 and Carroll County, Kentucky in November 1980.

43 years after his bones were found in the Ohio River, DNA tests identify him

A private forensic science business based in Texas used DNA from bones supplied by the Kentucky State Police in 2023 to “build a comprehensive DNA profile for the man,” according to a corporate release. The DNA profile aided scientists in the development of “new investigative leads that were returned to police.” Previous DNA testing in 2005 revealed that the bones discovered in Kentucky and Indiana belonged to the same person.

Investigators suspect Linville was a patient at a psychiatric hospital and was discharged on Aug. 22, 1980, according to the Texas forensics business. The cause and manner of his death are still being investigated.

Project Justice, the group that funded the DNA tests in Texas, stated that its objective is to assist law enforcement agencies in paying for DNA testing for unresolved death investigations. Linville’s identification was the 19th cold case solved with Project Justice’s assistance.

“By utilizing new innovative solutions, we can make a meaningful impact for our communities and the greater good,” said Project Justice founder Justin Woo in a statement.

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