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Human remains found in rural Linn County identified after 17 years

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Linn County Sheriff's Office

SWEET HOME, Ore. – Investigators with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office said they are finally able to put a name to human remains found in the woods east of Sweet Home back in 2006.

Back on October 23, 2006, Linn County deputies responded to a report of human remains found near the Big Springs Snow Park on Highway 22, far to the east of Sweet Home. Deputies said they found human remains that evidence on the scene indicated had been there for about a year. Detectives worked with the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office to extract DNA, but no match was found in any database. Undeterred, deputies sent DNA samples to Parabon Nanolabs, a private company that specializes in identifying unidentifiable DNA samples.

According to Linn County Deputies, Parabon Nanolabs was able to find a possible identity by tracing the DNA through ancestry-type databases and following the family trees of possible relatives. This hard work eventually led to a tentative identification of the body as Jesus Ruiz of Aumsville, Oregon. Detectives then contacted Ruiz’s family, who provided DNA samples of their own which were confirmed matches with the remains.

According to the LCSO, Ruiz’s family said they had not seen or heard from Ruiz since 2005 and thought he had been in Mexico. They never reported him as missing. The LCSO said an investigation into Ruiz’s death is ongoing.

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