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‘It’s solvable’: Banff RCMP hoping to identify man’s remains recovered decades ago

Skeleton discovered by a tour guide on the backside of Sulphur Mountain in 1998
Composite sketches show what a man whose remains were found on the back side of Sulphur Mountain in Banff National Park about 20 years ago may have looked like. (Banff RCMP)

RCMP are hoping to solve the mystery of remains found more than two decades ago in Alberta’s Banff National Park.

The skeleton of a Caucasian man between the age of 19 and 35 was discovered by a tour guide there in 1998. Police have been unable to identify the man, despite a number of clues found with his body.

Investigators believe the man was likely closer to 25 years old, was about 5 feet 10 inches tall, had rickets as a child and probably died at least two years before he was found on the backside of Sulphur Mountain about four kilometres south of the town of Banff.

RCMP say DNA from the remains has been uploaded into the national databank. Potential missing person’s files have been cross referenced and ruled out by either DNA or dental records. And there are not any known outstanding missing person’s cases that match the case.

“There’s no real leads. I’d just like to get the family the remains,” RCMP Cpl. Natalie Rice said Tuesday.

“With dental records and DNA on file, it’s solvable, which is frustrating.”

She said there’s been a lot of work done on the case over the past 20 years.

“An investigator picks it up, tries to do whatever they can, it sits and then they move on.”

There were several items located in the area of the remains, including keys from a 1970s or ’80s Chrysler with a War Amps key tag, pictures, and a black wallet with “Amity” written in gold letters, but no identification.

Rice said she had been hopeful that the War Amps tag would have yielded some clues.

“(The War Amps) actually keep records and they keep them a lot longer than a lot of places, but not that far back. So they were unable to help,” Rice said.

She added that investigators have also been unable to locate the vehicle the keys belong to.

“Picking up a file this late to go back is even more challenging for systems checking,” she said. “Say if it was a rental, all of those people don’t keep records very long.”

Police also recovered a tattered photo in the wallet with a Quebec address on the back, but that hasn’t yielded anything either.

“It was a near a seniors’ home or a hospital,” Rice said.

She said Sulphur Mountain is a popular location and over the years there have been three bodies found there. One has been identified.