DNA used to identify human remains found on hill above downtown Tacoma

Human remains recovered last year from a hillside above downtown Tacoma belong to a 40-year-old man.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office this week was able to identify the man and determine that he died from heroin poisoning. His next of kin has been notified.

It can often be difficult to identify a decomposed body. In this case, medical examiners were able to use DNA to figure out who the man was.

His remains were found Feb. 11, 2018, on a hill near North Schuster Parkway and South Fourth Street.

A resident out for a walk spotted the remains and called 911. Because it was late afternoon, officers guarded the area overnight and recovered the remains the next day.

The death was ruled accidental.

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Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.