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DNA helps solve mystery of missing Wash. man

EVERETT, Wash. — Sheriff’s officers in Snohomish County, Wash., and
Maricopa County, have solved the mystery of a Marysville, Wash., man’s
1986 disappearance with the help of a national DNA database.

Snohomish County sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton said Monday the break in
the 26-year-old case came when detectives were able to compare DNA from the
family of Todd Mertes with DNA taken from human remains found in 1988 in
Arizona.

Officers found a match. Snohomish County cold case Detective Jim Scharf
was recently able to tell the missing man’s family he had been found.

Scharf said the message for families with long-missing relatives is to check in
with police agencies again since technology has advanced so much in recent
years.