Teen hitchhiker killed in Alabama crash identified through genetic genealogy after 60 years – Action News Jax
, 2021-11-02 02:00:00,
CENTREVILLE, Ala. — A teenage hitchhiker killed in a 1961 car crash in rural Alabama has been identified six decades later by DNA and genetic genealogy, according to authorities.
The identification of 15-year-old Daniel Paul “Danny” Armantrout is the oldest case involving the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to be solved through the technology.
“It’s really a shocker to all of us,” Bibb County Coroner C.W. West said, according to AL.com. “I had my doubts at first, just because of how long it’s been. I am very relieved and excited and overwhelmed.”
Authorities said Danny was hitchhiking along Highway 25, near the Bibb and Shelby county line, on March 27, 1961, when he was picked up by motorist James White. According to Identifinders International, which helped solve the case, the teen told White his parents were divorcing, and he’d run away from home.
Shortly after White picked the boy up, tragedy struck. White’s vehicle struck a guardrail near River Bend bridge and plunged into the murky Cahaba River below.
White survived. His young passenger drowned.
‘Unknown in life but recognized in death’
Investigators were left with little to tell them who…
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