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"Mystery" body found in Arizona in 1996 identified as veteran from Los Angeles area

The body of a California man has been identified more than 27 years after being found in a northwest Arizona desert area, authorities said Tuesday.

Mohave County Sheriff's officials said remains of a man between 30 and 40 years old were discovered near Kingman in January 1996. The remains were found by two men who were running their dogs and looking for rocks, according to DNASolves.

The man, now identified as Sherman George from the Los Angeles area, died from a gunshot wound to the head, was buried in a shallow grave and may have been a homicide victim, officials said.

"Despite investigators multiple attempts to identity the man, his identity remained a mystery," according to DNASolves. 

That remained the case until February, when sheriff's investigators sent a DNA sample to Othram, a Texas-based forensic research company.

Using advanced DNA testing, scientists identified the man as George, who sheriff's officials said was an Army veteran who was known to frequent the deserts in California and Arizona with his military friends prior to his death.

They said George was estranged from his family, who last saw him in late 1994, and he had never been reported missing.

Records show that, during his time in the Army, George was stationed at Fort Liberty, North Carolina (formerly Fort Bragg), according to DNASolves.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact the Mohave County Sheriff's Office Detective Division.

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