Vietnam veteran’s remains identified 49 years after being found in northern Arizona

May 9, 2024, 1:00 PM

PHOENIX — Over 49 years after human remains were found in northern Arizona, authorities have identified them as a Vietnam veteran from Minnesota.

The remains of Gerald Francis Long were identified through genetic genealogy and DNA comparisons, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday.

The sheriff’s office worked with the Medical Examiner’s Officer, Intermountain Forensics and the FBI’s Latent Print Unit.

Here’s how the remains of the Vietnam veteran were found and identified

Long’s remains were found by farmers chasing a runaway pig near Meteor City, about 40 miles east of Flagstaff, on April 19, 1975, CCSO said in a press release.

He became known as “Munsinger Doe,” named after the brand of jacket found with his body.

Multiple efforts went into identifying the remains over the years, but none were successful until recently.

In August 2023, CCSO partnered with Intermountain Forensics, which eventually identified a family line through a genetic genealogy DNA profile.

By February, Long was identified as a potential match.

What we know about Long’s journey toward Arizona

Authorities contacted a surviving family member, who told detectives that Long had been a U.S. Army veteran.

Long enlisted into the Army in January 1969 and was deployed to Vietnam later that year. He returned to Minnesota in February 1972 and was discharged from the Army a month later.

The veteran then told his family in October 1972 that he was leaving the state and heading toward the West Coast.

It was the final time his family saw or heard from him, CCSO said.

With that information, authorities compared partial fingerprints from the remains to known fingerprint records that belonged to Long, which resulted in a positive match.

Afterward, Long’s family provided a DNA sample for direct comparison and the remains were confirmed as the veteran.

A cause of death wasn’t determined in 1975 and remains unknown.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

The Kaibab National Forest will implement Stage 2 fire restrictions beginning on Friday....

Kaibab National Forest to begin Stage 2 fire restrictions on Friday

The Kaibab National Forest will implement Stage 2 fire restrictions beginning on Friday.

3 hours ago

A motorcyclist died as a result of a three-car crash in Peoria on June 17, 2024. (AP File Photo/Mat...

Motorcyclist dead after 3-car crash in Peoria

A motorcyclist died as a result of a three-car crash in Peoria on Monday afternoon, authorities said.

4 hours ago

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed the 2025 fiscal year budget on June 18, 2024. (Photo by Rebecca Nob...

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signs $16.1 billion budget for 2025 fiscal year

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed the fiscal year 2025 budget Tuesday that erases a $1.4 billion shortfall by curbing spending on higher education and more.

6 hours ago

Republican Cochise County Supervisors Tom Crosby, left, and Peggy Judd, right, face election interf...

Judge rules election interference cases to continue for 2 Arizona county officials

A Maricopa County judge denied motions Tuesday by two Arizona county officials to dismiss their cases on potential election interference from 2022.

9 hours ago

Bash & Pop performs during the last Viva PHX in 2017. The downtown Phoenix music festival is return...

Kevin Stone

Viva PHX, a multivenue music festival in downtown Phoenix, returning after 7-year hiatus

Viva PHX, a multivenue downtown Phoenix music festival, is rising from the ashes in 2024 after a seven-year hiatus.

10 hours ago

File photos of lawyers Boris Epshteyn, left, and Jenna Ellis, who entered not guilty pleas in Arizo...

Associated Press

Last 3 defendants — Epshteyn, Ellis, Lamon — enter pleas in Arizona’s fake elector case

After the last three arraignments on Tuesday, all 18 defendants in the Arizona fake elector case have now pleaded not guilty.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Vietnam veteran’s remains identified 49 years after being found in northern Arizona