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Skeletal remains found in Tennessee identified as Indiana child

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The TBI says it has been 37 years since the skeletal remains of Tracy Sue Walker were found in a remote section of Campbell County.

JACKSBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Skeletal remains found nearly 40 years ago in rural northeast Tennessee have been identified as those of a missing Indiana girl, authorities said Tuesday.

The remains were positively identified this week as those of Tracy Sue Walker, who was born in 1963 and reported missing from the Lafayette, Indiana, area in 1978, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

The remains were found in 1985 in the Elk Valley area of Campbell County — nearly 400 miles (640 kilometers) southeast of Lafayette — and forensic anthropologists determined they belonged to a juvenile female, but they weren’t able to identify her.

Earlier this year, the bureau worked with the University of Tennessee Anthropology Department and sent a sample of the child’s remains to Othram, a private laboratory that analyzes human DNA. Scientists there conducted forensic genetic genealogy testing, leading to a possible relative of the child who was living in Indiana.

Mike Osborne is the News Director for WMOT and can be heard on-air daily.