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Remains Of Missing Lakeland Man Identified 41 Years Later

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LAKELAND (CBSMiami/AP) — More than four decades after 19-year-old Mark Duane Woodard disappeared, Florida authorities have finally identified his remains.

Diann Wells tells the Ledger that Polk County Sheriff's deputies told her last week that remains found in the north Florida woods in 1977 were recently matched to her brother.

Woodard went missing on April 14, 1975. His body was spotted by two people in a heavily wooded area about 70 miles north of Lakeland in March 1977.

Thirty-two years later, the medical examiner's office sent a bone to the University of North Texas to have DNA samples extracted.

Polk County Sheriff's deputies came across Woodard's name while reviewing missing persons cases in 2015. They sent DNA that had been provided by his parents and the match was made June 23.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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