Body Found in 1995 Identified As Missing Boscobel Man

LANCASTER, WI (Ben Caxton) — Advances in technology have solved the 24-year-old mystery of a body found in Grant county in 1995. In a statement released Wednesday, the Coroner’s Office has identified the body as that of Gale Joseph Byers. During the fall of that year, a motorist having car problems found the severely decomposed remains of a man who died of a heart-related condition in a small wooded area off of Hwy 151 near Maryville Heights. Then Grant County Coroner Ron Sturmer and the Grant County Sheriff’s Office attempted to identify the subject without success. FBI agents were called in but were unable to get useful fingerprints to help identify the man. “John Doe” was then buried in a county-owned cemetery across from Orchard Manor in a small ceremony in the spring of 1996. With the advent of new technologies and techniques, Phyllis Fuerstenberg, the county’s current coroner, reopened the case this year. This time the FBI was able to obtain usable fingerprints, and a database search identified Byers, who would have been 56-years-old. The Grant County Veteran’s Service Office is checking to see if benefits from Byers’ military service will cover the costs of a headstone. Byers’ body, with the consent of his family, will remain where it is. There will be a graveside service once a headstone with Byers’ name is on the gravesite. The sheriff’s office said Byers’ family plans to attend.

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