A state missing persons unit says new forensic technology helped identify remains in two cold cases.

Authorities determined that a  man hit by a vehicle on I-91 in Meriden in 2008 was Phat Quy Mai of Massachusetts.  He was 50 at the time.  Connecticut authorities had entered everything they knew about the unidentified man into the National Missing and Unidentified Person System, NamUs, and earlier this year received information which led them to his family,  where they were able to obtain a DNA match.

In the other case, a skull found in Waterbury in 1981 was matched to a man missing since 1980 with DNA samples from his mother in Pennsylvania.  Kenneth LaManna,  who was about 31 at the time of his death, had committed suicide,

State Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz says the work of the unit helps answer the questions of the relatives of missing people.

State Police forensic examiner Jillian Echard says popular forensic T-V shows may give people unrealistic expectations about how long it takes to solve such cases.


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