Skeleton found in Mississippi woods identified by DNA, but how he died and how he wound up in woods remains mystery, police say

Published 5:46 pm Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Authorities have used a DNA test to identify the skeletal remains of a man found nearly two months ago near the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Jackson County Coroner Bruce Lynd Jr. told WLOX-TV on Tuesday that the person was 60-year-old Jonathan Shanley.

The remains were discovered Nov. 9 in a wooded area near an electrical substation in Moss Point.

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Lynd said investigators were able to get a probable identification through items near the remains. Moss Point Police located a potential brother in north Mississippi. The relative provided a DNA sample, and that was sent to a lab to be compared with DNA from the remains. A positive match was made, identifying Shanley.

Authorities are working to determine the cause and manner of death, and to reunite Shanley’s remains with his family.