35 years after Robert William Johnston disappeared, his remains have finally been identified.
Johnston disappeared in 1981, and despite extensive searches at the time, he could not be found.
In 1995, Skeletal remains were found on the south side of Hays Mountain, but DNA technology wasn’t advanced enough at the time to provide an identification.
The coroners service attempted DNA testing again in 2000 and 2003, but still couldn’t come up with a profile.
Laurel Clegg of the BC Coroners service says it was only last year when they sent DNA samples to a lab in Bosnia could they extract a profile.
Johnston’s parents had provided DNA samples for earlier testing attempts.
According to Clegg, the DNA centre is Bosnia has a very advanced method of extracting DNA.
Their methods were honed over the many DNA tests the centre had to conduct as an aftermath of the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s.
Clegg says identifying Johnston gives his family, as well as all who have worked on his case, much needed closure.
Clegg also asks the public to report anyone who goes missing, regardless of how long ago it was or if it was a friend or relative.
She says they can only do their work of identifying the unknown if they’re reported.