Body found off California coast 20 years ago identified as missing teen

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 09, 2015 6:22 PM

(Reuters) - A body found floating off the coast of Northern California 20 years ago has been identified as a missing teenager last seen when he wandered away from a group of friends on a beach in 1995, police said on Friday.

Seventeen-year-old Cengiz Nuray was reported missing by his mother two decades ago, but there was little information about what might have happened to him, authorities said.

He was last seen on April 27, 1995, at Greyhound Rock Beach in Santa Cruz when he went for a walk and left his belongings with his friends, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Weeks later, a badly decomposed male body was discovered floating in the waters off Asilomar Beach in Pacific Grove, about 35 miles south of Santa Cruz, Pacific Grove police said in a statement.

Numerous attempts were made to identify the body, classified as a "John Doe," but none were successful, police said. Authorities had also disseminated information about the body to neighboring counties but did not get a match.

Last year, local authorities asked the California Department of Justice to perform a DNA analysis on the remains, the statement said.

The DNA testing turned up a match for Nuray last month, police said.

"After almost 20 years, the family will finally have closure and "John Doe" will be laid to rest," Pacific Grove police said in the statement.

There was no information provided on the cause or manner of death.

Nuray and his friends had been following the band the Grateful Dead when he disappeared, the Monterey County Herald reported.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in Seattle; Editing by Eric Beech)