Dothan police say they have positively identified human remains they found three years ago. And they say those remains belonged to a woman who used to live here in Dothan.
Corporal Frank Meredith, of the Dothan Police Department says, "If it wasn't for the DNA, this case would probably still be unsolved, as far as identifying who the person was."
That person is Cynthia Young, a woman who used to live on Richard Road in Dothan. Young was reported missing back in 1999. Then in 2003, her decomposed human skeleton was found in a wooded area, off John D. Odom Road. But police didn't know that then.
"We had to sift through debris, dirt, trees, brush, to find very small pieces of bones. And ultimately we did recover the majority of it," said Meredith.
With help from the Houston County Sheriff's Office, the FBI and the Alabama Bureau of Investigations, Dothan police were able to collect enough bones to work with in just a few days.
After gathering all the evidence, investigators began looking through national missing person’s databases trying to get a match.
Corporal Meredith says, "We had to sift through thousands and thousands of adults, and try to compare when they went missing, what part of the area, what state they went missing from."
Authorities even looked at databases containing missing people from overseas.
The remains were eventually sent to the FACES lab at Louisiana State University, where forensic analysts were recently able to make a positive DNA match.
"They were able to do a DNA match with a relative of the deceased," said Captain Nick Monday of the Dothan Police Department.
Investigators say Young was murdered. And now that police have identified the remains, they will focus finding her killer.
Anyone with information about this case is being asked to call the Dothan Police Department at (334) 615-3000.