The remains found over 50 years ago have been identified as an Oregon teen

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Oregon State Police say the remains of a teenager found over 50 years ago have been identified through advanced DNA technology as a young woman who went missing from PortlandPORTLAND, Ore. — The remains of a teenager found more than 50 years ago have been identified through advanced DNA technology as a young woman who went missing from Portland, Oregon State Police said.
The remains are that of Sandra Young, a high school student who disappeared in 1968 or 1969, police said Thursday in a news release.
In 2004, Young’s remains were moved to the state medical examiner facility in suburban Portland, along with over 100 additional sets of unidentified remains, police said.
A DNA sample from Young’s remains was uploaded into a computer software program database of DNA profiles at the time but no genetic associations were found.
A grant awarded to the Oregon State Police Medical Examiner’s Office in 2018 allowed for more extensive DNA testing and DNA company Parabon NanoLabs in 2021 was able to generate a prediction of Young’s facial characteristics.
In 2023, someone who uploaded their DNA into the genetic genealogy database GEDMatch was recognized as a potential distant family member of Young.
With others then uploading their DNA, more matches were found and family trees developed.
Those family members indicated Young went missing around the time the remains were found.
After Young’s sister uploaded a DNA sample and talked with a Portland police detective, genetic evidence confirmed the remains belonged to Young, police said.
Genetic genealogy casework and confirmation testing have shown successful results but can cost up to $10,000 per case, police said.

According to Oregon State Police, a young woman who vanished from Portland has been identified from the remains of an adolescent discovered more than 50 years ago using cutting-edge DNA technology.

Oregon’s Portland. — According to Oregon State Police, a young woman who vanished from Portland has been recognized from the remains of a teenager discovered more than 50 years ago thanks to cutting-edge DNA technology.

Sandra Young, a high school student who vanished in 1968 or 1969, is whose remains have been found, according to a news release issued by police on Thursday.

The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office Human Identification Program Coordinator, Dr. Nici Vance, stated in the news release that Sandra Young has now regained her identity after 54 years, citing the diligence and cooperation of family members, law enforcement, medical examiner staff, and DNA company Parabon NanoLabs.

“This exemplifies the inventive methods by which the ME’s Office and investigative genetic genealogy can assist Oregonians in achieving closure,” Vance stated.

On February, a Boy Scout troop leader discovered the remains. September 23, 1970. Authorities state that Young’s skeleton was discovered approximately 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of Portland on Sauvie Island in the Columbia River.

Although her injuries seemed to point to foul play, the cause of her death is still a mystery to investigators.

Young’s remains were transferred, along with more than a hundred other sets of unidentified remains, to the state medical examiner facility in a Portland suburb in 2004, according to the police.

At the time, a DNA sample from Young’s remains was entered into a database of DNA profiles using computer software, but no genetic connections were discovered.

More comprehensive DNA testing was made possible by a grant given to the Oregon State Police Medical Examiner’s Office in 2018, and in 2021 the DNA business Parabon NanoLabs produced a prediction of Young’s facial features.

A possible distant relative of Young was identified in 2023 by someone who submitted their DNA to the genetic genealogy database GEDMatch. As more people uploaded their DNA, more matches were discovered, leading to the development of family trees.

According to those family members, Young vanished around the time the bones were discovered.

Young’s remains were identified as his by genetic evidence, according to police, after his sister uploaded a DNA sample and spoke with a Portland police detective.

While confirmation testing and genetic genealogy casework have demonstrated successful outcomes, police reported that the cost per case could reach $10,000.

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