Body found at landfill 17 years ago finally identified

September 1, 2022 GMT

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — A man found dead at a Massachusetts landfill 17 years ago has finally been identified using modern forensic technology, and based on the circumstances, authorities have initiated a suspicious death investigation.

The body found at the Fall River landfill on Aug. 29, 2005 has been confirmed as Leon Brown, 41, of Boston, the office of Bristol District Attorney Thomas Quinn III announced in a statement Thursday.

The identification was made using advanced fingerprint identification techniques and benefited from improvements to the federal Automated Fingerprint Identification System, the statement said.

The death is considered suspicious because it is believed that Brown’s body was transported to the landfill in a dump truck. Also, Brown had multiple sclerosis and had difficulty walking, and the leg braces he normally wore were not on him and were not found elsewhere in the landfill, authorities said.

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The identification of Brown was made by the district attorney’s Unidentified Bodies Project, an expansion of his cold case unit.

“Each of these human remains was a living person who had hopes and human dignity,” Quinn said in a statement. “Doing everything we possibly can to identify them is a crucial first step in then determining what happened to them.”