BCA's effort to identify human remains makes first match

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A new initiative by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) to help solve missing persons cases from submitted DNA positively identified the remains of a woman who disappeared 20 years ago.

KARE 11 reports human remains found by a deer hunter in Dresser, Wis. in November 1993 were recently identified as belonging to Pearline Roberta Walton of Minneapolis. Walton was last seen in the Twin Cities in the summer of 1993. She would have been 42 years old.

In May, the agency called for DNA samples in an effort to identify about 100 sets of human remains found in the 1970s to the 1990s. Walton's family members were the first to come forward.

Polk County Sheriff Pete Johnson said the case is being investigated as a homicide, KSTP reports.

"This was a huge event in this case," Johnson said. "And it puts us into first gear from second. And now we can start and hope that there's still going to be some evidence to find. Some statements to get."

Investigators urge anyone with information about the case or Walton’s activities in 1993 to call the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 715-485-8366.

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