For more than two decades, the identity of human remains found off the coast of Maine was a mystery.
Now, that mystery has been solved. According to officials in Maine, the partially skeletonized remains of a male found in the Atlantic Ocean 27 miles offshore belonged to those of a man reported missing in Las Vegas in 2000.
Philip Kahn was 84 when he left Las Vegas 22 years ago, flying to New York, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Maine Office of Chief Medical Examiner.
“It’s unknown why or how Mr. Kahn ended up off the coast of Maine,” the statement said.
The remains were found on July 24, 2000.
The Maine Office of Chief Medical Examiner said it has revisited the case over the years and was proud to announce Wednesday that a positive identification has been made.
According to the medical examiner, an autopsy was done when the remains were found. A DNA sample and fingerprints were taken. When the prints were submitted to the FBI, there were no matches. The DNA sample was uploaded to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index, a database known among law enforcement as CODIS.
When the medical examiner contracted with a firm called Parabon Nanolabs in 2019 for analysis and an attempt at forensic genealogy, officials discovered that the male’s remains were Ashkenazi Jewish, but still no leads came through.
In May 2022, the medical examiner’s office submitted the fingerprints from the remains to the FBI’s Deceased Persons Identification Services Division, also known as DPI Services.
“The FBI was able to match Maine’s unidentified person fingerprints and dental records to Mr. Kahn, who had been reported missing in Las Vegas, in 2000,” the medical examiner’s statement said. “Mr. Kahn’s next of kin has been notified of the identification.”
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