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Man Found On Abandoned Tennessee Trail Finally Identified After 37 Years

Jerry Harrison, who had been missing since 1982, has finally been identified almost four decades after his skeletal remains were discovered by hunters on an abandoned trail in Tennessee.

Remains of a man found on an abandoned Tennessee trail finally identified as Jerry Harrison (PHOTO: TBI MEDIA via People).

The man was finally identified 37 years after he was found

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced the breakthrough on June 7, stating that genealogical DNA testing confirmed the victim’s identity as Jerry Harrison from Little Rock, Arkansas, according to People.

The last contact Harrison had with his family was in 1982 when he was approximately 25 years old, before he embarked on his cross-country travels.

On August 24, 1986, hunters found Harrison’s skeletal remains in the Caney Valley area of Claiborne County. At that time, investigators were unable to determine his identity, but they established that he was a white male, likely between 30 and 40 years old.

The cause of death was determined to be a gunshot, and his death was classified as a homicide. Forensic anthropologists estimated that he had been deceased for six months to a year prior to the discovery of his remains.

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John Doe finally identified after 37 years

Despite exhaustive efforts, investigators could not identify the victim and categorized him as a John Doe, resulting in a cold case.

In December 2022, scientists were able to identify potential relatives connected to the man after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation sent a sample of the remains to forensic genetic genealogical DNA testing.

In late May, the breakthrough occurred, and Jerry Harrison was identified as the victim. He was born in December 1957 and had gone missing in 1982.

The Tenn. Bureau of Investigation is now seeking the public’s assistance in providing any information that could aid in finding Harrison’s killer and solving the long-standing cold case, according to Inside Edition.

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