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Human skull found in 2018 has been identified

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A skull that was found by children in 2018 has been identified with advanced genealogy techniques.

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. — A human skull that was found in 2018 in Clear Creek County has been identified, the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office said.

The skull was discovered by local children on May 11, 2018. It was next to a power pole with a tooth fragment nearby. The skull was undamaged besides a missing mandible. 

The sheriff’s office said Wednesday that the person who died has been identified as David “Michael” Crady, who was born in October 1955.

The sheriff’s office said in May 2023, a forensic anthropologist examined the skull. They found there was no evidence of trauma and the person had been dead for at least four months, but most likely for a year or more.

The skull was sent to the University of North Texas for DNA extraction in attempts to make an identification. The DNA extracted was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation began working in the case in 2023 by using advanced genealogy techniques and found a DNA match for the skull. Investigators learned that Crady’s family had lost contact with him several years prior. A family member submitted a DNA sample, and in early May of this year, CBI was able to confirm the identity of Crady with a 99.9% accuracy match, the sheriff’s office said.

“We deeply appreciate the efforts and collaboration of the University of North Texas, CBI, and our forensic experts,” Clear Creek County Sheriff Matthew Harris said. “This identification will hopefully provide some closure for Mr. Crady’s family.”

The investigation into Crady’s death is open. There are no leads regarding how he died or how the skull ended up in Clear Creek County. Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office at 303-679-2393.

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Human skull found in 2018 has been identified

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