Remains found at base of Flagstaff’s Mount Elden identified as man reported missing in 2017

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Human remains found at the base of Mount Elden in Flagstaff nearly five years ago have been identified as a Phoenix man reported missing in 2017, authorities said Wednesday.

Coconino County Sheriff’s officials said a DNA profile showed the skeletal remains were those of Mark Austin Dunne, who apparently had been camping in Flagstaff for an unknown length of time.

The cause of Dunne’s death could not be determined, according to the county medical examiner’s office.

A hiker found the remains in November 2019 in a heavily wooded area at the base of 9,300-foot (2,800-meter) Mount Elden and notified authorities.

Dunne was reported missing to Phoenix police in March 2017 after not contacting his family for an extended time.

Sheriff’s officials said their office contracted with a Utah company in August 2023 in an attempt to identify the remains through a genetic genealogy process.

The company was able to identify a family line and further testing matched the remains to Dunne.

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