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Remains found in Chesterfield County in 1990 identified by investigators

Posted at 9:56 AM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 09:56:18-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Chesterfield County Police say they have now identified a man whose remains were found in a wooded area of the county 34 years ago.

On May 18, 1990 Chesterfield Police say they were called to a wooded area off Point of Rocks Road and recovered partially skeletonized human remains.

The remains were sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner who found no signs of foul play and ruled the death undetermined.

In June of 2022, Chesterfield Police teamed with the Virginia Department of Forensic Science, and Othram, a private DNA lab that specializes in advanced forensic DNA testing.

Using genome sequencing technology, the company was able to identify potential family members of the unidentified man. Then a family member voluntarily provided a DNA sample resulting in a close family match to the victim.

Additional testing then confirmed the remains were those of Robert L. Harris, a 55 year-old who lived in the 1400 block of Burning Tree Road in Henrico County at the time.

Harris was reported missing by his family after they last saw him on April 17, 1990.

Harris' surviving family was notified that detectives were able to identify his remains and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner are now working to return his remains to the family.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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