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Florida homicide victim identified as Jefferson man missing for more than 25 years

Posted at 4:16 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 16:16:53-04

JEFFERSON, Ohio — The victim of an unsolved Florida homicide from 1993 has been identified as a Jefferson man that had been missing since the same year.

“Persistent detective work and DNA technology revealed that a missing persons case from Ohio and an unsolved homicide from Florida were one in the same,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said. “This outcome brings closure to a family, long separated from their loved one.”

Wayne Calvin Griffith was last seen in Ashtabula in October 1993. He was 43 years old. At the time, authorities believed he may have traveled to Florida.

Investigators recently matched his DNA to previously unidentified remains found on Oct. 25, 1993, in Palm Beach, Florida.

“Through hard work and collaboration, we are pleased to have been able to provide closure for this family,” Ashtabula County Sheriff William Johnson said. “Continuing work on cold cases, and all cases for that matter, is crucial. Just because a number of years have gone by doesn’t mean it ever ends.”

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation received a tip regarding Griffith in February 2019 and opened a missing persons case with the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office.

Through BCI’s Project LINK (Linking Individuals Not Known), DNA was collected from Griffith’s family and uploaded into the national Combined DNA Index System.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office recently contacted the Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas with a request to review the case tied to the unidentified remains.

When his DNA profile was uploaded into CODIS, it matched the profile submitted by BCI. His identity was confirmed through additional DNA testing and information provided by his family.

Anyone with information about his death is asked to call Detective John Cogburn of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office at 561-688-4063.