National News

Remains matched to Ontario man missing since 2003

By The Canadian Press

NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. - Human remains found in the mountains near North Vancouver have been identified as those of a 20-year-old Ontario man who went missing more than a decade ago while visiting his grandmother in British Columbia.

The BC Coroners' Service says the woman reported her grandson, Dante Ponzanetti, missing to Vancouver Police in June 2003.

Dr. Bill Inkster, acting manager of the service's Identification and Disaster Response Unit, says a hiker discovered the skeletal remains in November 2004 but they could not be identified despite comprehensive forensic analysis.

He says the bones have now been linked to Ponzanetti through a match on a database of DNA from missing persons' family members.

Inkster says the coroners' service database is the only such one in Canada and that privacy issues involving living donors have prevented the development of similar databases elsewhere in the country.

He says Ponzanetti was from Thunder Bay, Ont., and that the circumstances surrounding his death are still being investigated.

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