London, KY (May 23, 2019) In November, 1986 a body was discovered in the Strunk community of McCreary County. Although the Kentucky State Police pursued several potential leads for information, the case eventually went cold and the victim was not identified.
In 2016, McCreary County Coroner Tim Corder and Kentucky State Police Detective Billy Correll renewed efforts to identify the remains.
In late 2017, after an extensive search for information, a missing person from Norfolk, Virginia was identified as a possible match to the remains. The investigation led the Coroner and Detective to contact a family member of the missing person who resides in California.
With the assistance of the Arroyo Grande Police Department in Arroyo Grande, California and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS), a DNA sample was collected from the family member and submitted to the University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center.
The Kentucky State Medical Examiner’s Office and McCreary County Coroner Tim Corder were able to submit the remains to the UNT Health Science Center to be examined for a Mitochondrial DNA profile and comparison to the family member’s sample.
In May, 2019 this examination was completed and resulted in the identity of the victim as that of Gerald Swindell, age 29, of Norfolk, VA.
Coroner Corder stated “the technology and resources of today are far better than those of 1986. This investigation was successful because of our ability to communicate with other agencies and coordinate our efforts. I am happy to be a part of helping provide some closure to the Swindell family after so many years of not knowing.”
KSP Detective Billy Correll is continuing the investigation.