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National Briefing / Utah

Skeleton not of '30s explorer

October 22, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A skeleton found in the wilderness last year was not that of Everett Ruess, a legendary wanderer of the 1930s, despite initial forensic tests that seemed to have solved an enduring mystery, his nephew told the Associated Press.

"The skeleton is not related to us," said Brian Ruess, 44, of Portland, Ore. Everett Ruess vanished in 1934, at age 20.

Initial DNA tests had been termed "irrefutable" by University of Colorado researchers, but one of them said Wednesday he accepted as final the new results from the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory in Rockville, Md.

Utah's state archaeologist, Kevin Jones, had questioned the original results.

University of Colorado biologist Kenneth Krauter, who handled the initial tests, said he did a second round of tests that disproved his original results. He called the Armed Forces results definitive.

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