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Remains found in 2003 in Minn. identified as man missing since 1970

Donald Rindahl’s remains were found in August 2003 during an excavation project.
Donald Rindahl’s remains were found in August 2003 during an excavation project.(Source: WCCO/CNN)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 10:59 AM CST
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ISANTI COUNTY, Minn. (WCCO) - Authorities have learned that human remains found nearly two decades ago in Minnesota belong to a man who went missing in the 1970s.

It’s all thanks to new DNA profiling technology that led the Isanti County Sheriff’s Department to a breakthrough in the case.

Donald Rindahl’s remains were found in August 2003 during an excavation project.

At the time, authorities believed the remains belonged to a white male and that they had been buried up to 28 years.

The remains were identified by the same lab that in 2021 identified the remains of a teen killed in Texas in 1980.

The new technology allowed investigators to build a DNA profile and found a distant relative who matched the remains.

That led them to two siblings, one of whom said their brother had been missing since 1970.

The siblings provided DNA samples, and authorities were able to use it to identify Rindahl’s remains.

Rindahl’s death is classified as undetermined, though authorities said they believe it was a homicide.

They think he was buried in late 1970 or early 1971, when he was 22 years old.

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