Troopers identify remains of missing person after 32 years

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Alaska State Troopers announced that they were able to positively identify a body that had been classified as ‘missing’ for 32 years with the use of DNA evidence.

The Troopers announced that they identified the remains of Ronald Oquilluk using DNA from his sister. Oquilluk, 38-years-old at the time of his disappearance, went missing from a Butte assisted living facility in 1987.

Human remains found in 1996 in Central, an Interior community of under 100 northeast of Fairbanks, were put into storage.

The remains were tested in 2001, but because of backlogs, the results didn’t come in for another two years. Even then, it was not known who they belonged to since they didn’t match anyone in the Troopers’ database.

In 2018, Oquilluk’s sister Alice Topkok took a DNA test at the urging of the Alaska State Troopers’ Missing Persons Clearinghouse. The results came back months later--and in the interim Topkok passed away, never knowing that the results matched up with the body of her brother found near Central 23 years earlier.

The State Troopers urge anyone with a missing family member to contact the Missing Persons Clearinghouse at 907-269-5038 or email Malia Miller at malia.miller@alaska.gov.

Information from Ken Marsh/Alaska State Troopers

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