Remains found in Clinton Township identified as Billy Johansen

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The remains found near Glen Flint Lake in April have been positively identified as a Putnam County man

On Tuesday evening, Putnam County Coroner Dave Brown officially identified the man as William Wayne “Billy” Johansen.

Brown credited Dr. Krista Latham, director of the University of Indianapolis Human Identification Center, and her team with helping to bring the case to a conclusion.

William "Billy" Johansen

The Indiana State Police DNA lab returned a positive identification for Johansen on Monday. Then on Tuesday, Brown traveled to Boone County to identify next of kin.

Born in 1965, Johansen was reported missing to Indiana State Police nearly two years before the remains were found, last seen on June 7, 2016 in the Van Bibber Lake area.

Then on April 27, a person walking in the woods near Glen Flint Lake discovered the remains.

Having taken the original missing person call, the Indiana State Police responded, followed by the coroner’s office and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department.

Upon further investigation, more remains were found.

At this point, Brown called upon Dr. Latham, one of only 84 forensic anthropologists working in the world today. Two days after the original discovery, Latham and her team came to Putnam County and surveyed the area the remains were found and set up an archaeological dig site.

“Dr. Latham’s team was intelligent and diligent and many more skeletal remains were found, charted as to location, and brought back to their laboratory for analysis and testing,” Brown said.

“I cannot begin to say how impressed I am with these scientists and their knowledge and their work ethic in this kind of endeavor,” he continued. “It is such a gift to have an asset such as this in our own back yard.”

The remains were taken to the University of Indianapolis lab, where processing and analysis was done and a sample sent to the DNA laboratory of the Indiana State Police.

The exact cause of death has not been determined but based on the skeletal remains foul play is not suspected.

Brown called the case “the most detailed and intense forensic investigation done in close to a decade by our local coroners.”

Besides Dr. Latham’s team, Brown had praise for local law enforcement officers, Indiana State Police and his own staff.

“This investigation took many man-hours of investigation,” Brown said. “Modern scientific techniques were used to give the us the answers we sought. The entire investigation was completed under budget and at no additional cost to the county.

“We have, at least in this case, spoken for the dead.”

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  • Great work from all involved.

    -- Posted by momma-j on Tue, Jun 26, 2018, at 10:47 PM
  • I am so glad that they determined who the remains are. He was a human being and his family can now have some closure.

    -- Posted by interestedperson#1 on Tue, Jun 26, 2018, at 11:15 PM
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