CPD determines identity of body found in homeless camp

The Columbia Police Department has ruled the cause of death as homicide.
Joe Bradley / Graphic Designer

Skeletal remains found in a homeless camp Jan. 7 near the Conley Road and the Interstate-70/64 connector were identified as those of Mark D. Dailey.

Before confirming the identity, Columbia Police Department Capt. Brad Nelson said police officers initially believed the remains to be Dailey's because he frequented the homeless camp, but had not been seen for some time.

During its investigation, the Boone/Callaway County Medical Examiner's Office found suspicious wounds on Dailey's face and neck. The MU anthropology department was also contacted to examine the remains, a CPD news release stated.

Nelson said CPD rarely finds skeletal remains but turns to the anthropology department when remains are found. Investigators requested DNA samples from Dailey's family in Ohio after the remains were found.

Investigators were able to identify Dailey through the DNA samples. Nelson said Dailey's family wasn't able to provide much other information since they hadn't seen him for years.

The medical examiner's office ruled the incident a homicide. The cause of death was ruled as blunt force injuries to Dailey's face and stab wounds to his neck. Nelson said some weapons were found in the homeless camp and police are trying to determine if they are the same weapons used in the homicide.

The entire Major Crimes Unit is working on the homicide case and investigators are focusing on contacting the homeless and showing them pictures of Dailey. Investigators are also trying to get more information about Dailey, Nelson said.

Nelson said police have been working on the case since Dailey's remains were found but the difference is the entire unit is working on the follow up now.

Police don't have any leads or suspects in the case yet.

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