In a breakthrough announcement, investigators from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation confirmed the identity of the body discovered in Union Grove, Alabama, 26 years ago. The remains belonged to Jefferey Douglas Kimzey, a 20-year-old resident of Santa Barbara, California.
The badly decomposed body was found along Little Cotaco Creek on April 15, 1997, with its head, hands, and feet missing, making identification difficult. An autopsy concluded that it was a homicide, and the intentional removal of body parts further complicated the identification process.
Despite the case going cold, a breakthrough came in 2019 when DNA samples were sent to Parabon NanoLabs, a DNA technology company. Utilizing DNA phenotyping, a composite image of the victim was created and released in 2021, generating new leads.
Sheriff Phil Sims expressed gratitude to the investigators involved and revealed that persons of interest have been identified in the case. The authorities are actively pursuing leads and will collaborate with Parabon regarding recently discovered DNA evidence related to items found at the crime scene. The positive identification of Jefferey Kimzey brings hope of further progress in solving this long-standing cold case.