Breakthrough announced in two missing persons cases
By WFSB Staff
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -
Connecticut State Police announced breakthroughs in two missing persons cases that were recently solved by detectives and scientists from the state forensic laboratory.
One of the cases was that of a skull that was discovered in Waterbury 31 years ago and was solved this month by Connecticut State Police Det. Joseph Butkowski, who has been assigned to the missing persons unit of the CSP.
State police worked with the Waterbury Police Department, the Office of the Chief State's Medical Examiner and the forensic lab to make an identification of the skull that was found decades ago.
Detectives said they found similarities to the case of the skull, found in 1981, and a missing persons case in 1980.
The mother of the missing person was contacted and she provided officials with a DNA sample and made a positive link.
The Waterbury Police Department then notified the mother of Kenneth LaManna that the skull belonged to her son.
Police said they hoped the breakthrough would bring some sort of closure to the family.
State police also solved a case from 2008 in which the driver of a motor vehicle fatally hit someone who was lying in the middle of Interstate 91 in Meriden.
For five years, detectives said they have been trying to identify who the victim was and even entered their information into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, or NamUs.
In April, information was received from NamUs and Connecticut State Police Detective Tanya Compagnone took on the case.
Compagnone met with the potential victim's family in Massachusetts and also obtained DNA samples.
Those samples were compared with the samples at the state forensic lab, and a positive identification was made.
The victim was then identified as Phat Quy Mai.
"The State Police Missing Persons Unit is dedicated to the investigation of missing person cases in Connecticut, both old and new. We continue to work with our law enforcement counterparts on the local and federal level - and with our skilled scientists - to solve cases," Sgt. James Thomas said.
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