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Non-Verbal Found Man Identified Using DNA

Non-Verbal Found Man Identified Using DNA

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A non-verbal adult who was located unconscious near a homeless encampment on Christmas Eve has now been identified, over 6 months after being located.

The Riverside County Police Department said that the man was identified after an exhaustive investigation and a DNA matching. On Christmas Eve of 2018, the man was found near the Santa Ana River bottom and was taken to a local hospital. He remained at the hospital for one month during which time he did not speak, move, or even open his eyes. 

On January 15, 2019, the police became involved when they learned that the man was admitted into the hospital under someone else’s name. Police suspected that it was a case of identity theft of medical insurance. Detectives learned that the man was developmentally disabled and non-verbal and was unable to communicate who he was or where he lived. The investigation used all methods to identify the man, including fingerprints, facial recognition, use of social media and flyers to neighboring agencies, medical facilities. And community-based organizations. No one came forward saying that they knew the man and they learned that the man was not capable of providing a fraudulent name since he was unable to communicate. 

The man’s physical condition improved and he was transferred to a board and care facility in the City of Perris. The detective used a DNA kit to help identify the man. While at the Board and Care facility the man walked away from the facility and eventually ended up at the Riverside University Health Systems (RUHS) emergency hospital where staff recognized him from the flyers distributed. ‘Initial DNA testing results identified approximately 100 possible family members, but only a small few responded to say they did not know the man,” Riverside Police officials said. “Fortunately, Genealogist CeCe Moore and her “DNA Detective Team” contacted Detective Money and volunteered their services to assist in this investigation. They worked diligently and contacted several possible family members using various genealogy methods.”

Some of his family members did not want to be involved and were uncooperative with providing information, police said The DNA Detective Team located two family members who assisted them with identifying the man. “Detectives are continuing the investigation to determine why no one reported the man as a missing person, as well as possible fraud committed against him and his financial benefits by family members,” Riverside Police said. “He does have medical benefits as a person with disabilities, so more permanent arrangements are being made by the Public Guardian for his proper care and safety.”

The man’s identity is not being publicly released at this time due to confidentiality laws. This investigation is still ongoing and anyone with additional information is urged to contact Detective Brian Money at (951) 353-7118 or bmoney@riversideca.gov.

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Staff Writer

This article was written by a staff member of the 24/7 Headline News Organization