DNA identifies 15-year-old boy who disappeared in 1979 and hundreds of miles away, cops say

Nearly 40 years after running away from his Michigan home and disappearing at the age of 15, the family of Andrew Jackson Greer have been informed that his remains were located in another part of the country.

According to the New York Post, Greer left his Clayton school in February 1979 and was never seen again.

Authorities in the Macon, Georgia, announced this week that the cold case had been solved with the results of a DNA test conducted on the remains of an unidentified person buried in a grave there.

The University of North Texas Center of Identification performed the examination after new technology unveiled in recent years made reopening the case feasible. According to the test results, the remains were determined to be Greer’s by an astronomical factor of 1.9 trillion more likely than not.

Michigan State Police released a statement acknowledging the development, reporting that the suspected circumstances surrounding the teen’s disappearance have not changed. He was last seen in 1979 near Addison, Michigan, according to reports.

“The case remained cold after early investigations by the Michigan State Police in 1979 and the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department in 2000,” the statement concluded. “The cold case was re-opened in 2014 and with developments in technology and resources, the mystery of Andrew’s whereabouts has finally been solved.”

A retired law enforcement officer in Georgia led the charge to exhume the unidentified John Doe’s body after contacting police in Michigan to share his evidence that it could be Greer.

According to Michigan State Police Detective 1st Lt. Thomas DeClercq, maternal relatives contributed DNA samples to compare against the remains.

“The thing is, you want to feel good about it,” the detective said, adding that it was “a lot more bitter than sweet” to determine the facts in the case.

“It is sad,” DeClercq said. “A young boy lost his life, you know, running away.”

After hitchhiking south and traveling hundreds of miles, authorities now believe he was struck and killed by an 18-wheeler on Interstate 75 in Georgia.

As of the latest reports available, Georgia officials were arranging to transport Greer’s remains back to Michigan.

[Featured image: Andrew Jackson Greer, handout]