The remains of a 78-year-old man who went missing in 1991 have been identified using modern DNA testing technology, according to the New Hampshire state attorney general’s office. Benjamin Adams, who had been suffering from dementia, left his home in Canaan in June 1991 and never returned. In 1996, skeletal remains were discovered in the woods in Hanover, nearly 20 miles away, and investigators suspected they could be Adams’ remains. However, a positive identification could not be made at the time. Recently, Adams’ son provided a DNA sample, which was compared to the skeletal remains, confirming a probability of relatedness of at least 99.999998%.
The discovery of Benjamin Adams’ remains after more than three decades brings closure for his family, who had been searching for answers since he went missing in 1991. Adams, who was suffering from dementia at the time, left his home for a walk but never returned. The investigation into his disappearance led to the discovery of skeletal remains in Hanover in 1996, but they couldn’t be positively identified as Adams’ at the time. With advances in DNA testing technology, the case was reopened, and Adams’ son provided a DNA sample, which matched the remains with a probability of relatedness of at least 99.999998%. The identification provides a sense of resolution for the family and highlights the state’s commitment to solving missing persons cases.
The use of modern DNA testing technology played a crucial role in identifying the remains of Benjamin Adams. After the discovery of skeletal remains in 1996, an examination indicated that the characteristics were consistent with those of Adams, but a positive identification couldn’t be made. Recently, Adams’ son provided a DNA sample, which was compared to the skeletal remains. The results from a private contract lab confirmed a high probability of relatedness, providing the long-awaited confirmation that the remains were those of Benjamin Adams. This successful identification demonstrates the importance of utilizing a multidisciplinary approach and advancements in technology in cold case investigations. The medical examiner’s office is now working on reuniting Adams’ remains with his family, bringing them some closure after over three decades of uncertainty.