User Login    
 + Register
PDQ Cleaning
News : DNA Sought To Close 1926 Missing Person Case
Posted by Randy on 2014/4/30 4:19:27 (418 reads) News by the same author

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Marvin A. Clark vanished during a short trip to Portland on Halloween weekend 1926, but the search to find out what happened to him may finally be drawing to a close nearly 90 years later
Click to see original Image in a new window

Clark's disappearance is one of the oldest active missing-person cases in the nation, according to a federally funded database of missing persons. Investigators know Clark is not alive - he'd be more than 160 years old - but they believe they have his remains.

Now, they need DNA samples from Clark's hard-to-find descendants to close the case.

Despite the age of the remains, investigators were able to get a good DNA profile, said Dr. Nici Vance of the Oregon state medical examiner's office. Volunteer genealogists then found three great-great-grandchildren on the paternal side.

The results were encouraging, but not definitive, Vance said.

Now, "they're looking for a maternal link, someone on his mother's side, and following that lineage to shore it up and make the statistics a little better," she said. "There's an association there, but it's not strong at this point."

Vance entered Clark's name into the database of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, which provides a central repository of information about missing persons and unidentified decedent records. The free online system can be searched at findthemissing.org.

"There might have been an item of jewelry that was found with that person that could trigger a memory of a family member," she said.

The database, funded by the National Institute of Justice, consists of nearly 10,000 cases. Among the oldest active ones are cases involving a farmer in his 30s who went missing in Oklahoma in 1902, a 2-year-old who disappeared in 1930 in Chicago and a 22-year-old hiker who vanished in Rocky Mountain National Park in 1933.

As might be expected in Clark's case, which dates back to just before the Great Depression, some facts are sketchy and conflicting. According to the database, he was in his early 60s when he vanished while taking a stagecoach ride to see his Portland doctor in 1920.

But contemporaneous articles from The Oregonian newspaper show Clark was 75 and went missing on a bus trip in 1926. The old clippings say the "well-known" Tigard, Ore., resident left home on Saturday, Oct. 30, to visit his daughter, Mrs. Sidney McDougall, in Portland.

A frantic search began two days later when Clark's wife called McDougall and learned he never completed the trip that's about 10 miles.

McDougall, an article says, had not been expecting a visit from her father because he returned to Tigard from her home only a few days before his disappearance. The newspaper said Clark had been traced to a terminal in downtown Portland, near McDougall's place.

McDougall offered a $100 reward - more than $1,300 in today's money - for information about his whereabouts, but nothing turned up. Police across the Pacific Northwest were asked to be on the lookout for Clark, who had partial paralysis on the right side, a "halting gait" and couldn't use his right arm.

Then, on May 10, 1986, loggers clear-cutting an isolated section of Portland discovered the remains of a man who had been dead for at least a half-century.

Near the skeleton, investigators found an 1888 V nickel, a 1919 penny, a pocket watch, leather shoes, wire-rimmed glasses, a Fraternal Order of Eagles pocket knife and four tokens with the inscription "D&P." A historian told The Oregonian in 1986 that those where likely tavern tokens, which were awarded in card games and could be used to buy food or alcohol.

Police also found a corroded revolver, and an expended .32-caliber bullet. A single shot had entered the skull at the temple. Medical examiners at the time said it was the oldest case they ever had. They ruled the unknown man's death a suicide. Investigators were skeptical that his identity would ever be learned.

Clark's name surfaced a couple days later when a woman told detectives it might be her grandfather.

The woman, Dorothy Willoughby, said Clark had once been the town marshal from Linnton, which was annexed by Portland in the early 20th century and is near the secluded ravine where the man chose to end his life. She said her grandfather went missing around 1920 and was said to have been depressed over medical problems and sometimes used a cane.

The granddaughter's hunch, however, wasn't enough to solve the disappearance. She died in 1991.

When Vance discovered a file about Clark and the 1986 remains, she realized the case number might be in the storage unit where the remains of unidentified people are kept. "And I was like: `Oh my gosh, I still have this guy. This is fantastic,'" she said.

With the advances in DNA, she sent a sample in 2011 to the Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas, which also manages the database of missing and unidentified people. Now, they are searching for more of Clark's descendants.

"I don't like the word closure, I kind of think resolution," said Janet Franson, a regional NamUs administrator whose territory includes Oregon.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2015/7/29 8:43:48 - Team Farmer Event At North Central Missouri Fair Canceled
2015/7/29 8:39:02 - Gallatin City Council Meets
2015/7/29 8:36:01 - Gallatin Man Arrested On Multiple Counts Of Child Porn
2015/7/29 6:39:38 - Habitat For Humanity To Hold Meeting At Chillicothe
2015/7/29 6:26:42 - Two Arrested By Chillicothe Police Involving Burglary At Gallatin
2015/7/29 5:55:46 - Breilly Roy Crowned North Central Missouri Fair Queen
2015/7/29 4:59:20 - Maysville Man, Congressional Candidate Charged In Drug Case
2015/7/29 4:46:00 - Inmate At Crossroads Correctional Center Dies
2015/7/29 4:42:28 - Cache Of Weapons Stolen From St. Joseph Pawn Shop
2015/7/29 4:40:00 - Authorities Investigate Amish Drinking Party In Livingston County
2015/7/29 4:39:22 - Diseased Wheat Plagues Farmers
2015/7/29 4:36:28 - Man Dies After Being Shot In Chest By Employee In Fight Near KU Hospital
2015/7/29 4:28:47 - Church Van On The Way To Branson Crashes Injuring 10 Children
2015/7/29 4:26:44 - Man Accused Of Using $476K In Employer's Funds For Strippers
2015/7/29 4:23:04 - Three Accused Of Stealing $70K Worth Of Toilet Paper
2015/7/29 4:15:37 - Kansas Man Faces 80 Year Prison Sentence For Raping 2 Kids Under 10 Years Old
2015/7/29 4:12:31 - Missouri Middle School Teacher Allegedly Used Tree House To Have Sexual Relations With Student
2015/7/29 4:08:39 - Missouri Man Sentenced For Distributing Tons Of Marijuana
2015/7/29 3:59:52 - Livingston County Sheriff Reports Recent Activities
2015/7/29 3:56:53 - NCMC Board Meeting Report
2015/7/28 8:24:27 - Trenton City Council Meets
2015/7/28 6:35:18 - Grundy County Sheriff Arrests Chillicothe Man
2015/7/28 6:32:15 - Highway 6 In Grundy And Sullivan Counties To Be Resurfaced
2015/7/28 6:27:59 - Accident Near Eagleville Injures One
2015/7/28 4:53:53 - Northwest Missouri Defendants Appear In Two Rape Cases
2015/7/28 4:50:11 - Two Northwest Missouri Men In Custody Following Burglary
2015/7/28 4:41:19 - Children In Protective Custody After Couple Overdoses At Motel
2015/7/28 4:37:58 - 6 University Of Missouri Students Confirmed With Mumps
2015/7/28 4:31:01 - One-Year-Old Boy Has Crushed Jaw, 60 Puncture Wounds From Dog Bite
2015/7/28 4:24:47 - Mom On Escalator Killed After Saving Son



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM