Colorado authorities make use of DNA to identify body discovered in 1974


Colorado News

Authorities in Colorado used DNA to identify a man who was found dead by hikers 46 years ago, while his wife remains missing.

Park County Coroner David E. Kintz Jr. on Tuesday identified the man as 45-year-old Anthony John Armbrust III of San Diego, California, KUSA-TV reports.

Armbrust was previously unidentified and buried as a John Doe at a cemetery in Fairplay.

He was found by Park County hikers in February 1974 in an area of steep rocks, partially frozen in snow and ice, Kintz said.

A first cousin who provided DNA was found during research conducted with the assistance of the DNA Doe Project. The volunteer project uses genetic genealogy to assist law enforcement agencies with cases involving unidentified bodies.

Investigators learned Ambrust was an aeronautical engineer and leader of a metaphysical church in San Diego. His living relatives include a daughter and granddaughter in Arizona.

Investigators determined Ambrust and his 25-year-old second wife, Renee, traveled to Golden, Colorado, in 1973 with plans to take their own lives because he suffered from a terminal illness.

“Anthony and Renee came to Colorado, in what some people said during my interviews, to be taken by God in the Colorado mountains,” Kintz said.

Ambrust appeared to have died from multiple blunt force trauma injuries resulting from a fall or intentional jump, while investigators continue to search for his wife’s remains, Kintz said.

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