Stagecoach Passenger Is Oldest Active Missing-Person Case

Nobody has seen Marvin Clark since 1920
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2014 12:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – Marvin Clark is the subject of the oldest active missing-person investigation in America, but nobody is expecting to find him alive: The Oregon town marshal was 62 or 63 years old when he vanished after getting on a stagecoach to his doctor's office in 1920. His is the oldest of the cold cases being probed by the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System at the University of North Texas, the Houston Chronicle reports. The huge national missing-persons database works closely with a DNA lab and a forensic anthropology lab.

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"We don't know what happened to Marvin—if he left of his own accord or something happened to him," the director of training at NamUs says, but investigators have managed to get DNA from two great-great-grandchildren on the paternal side and hope to get samples from the maternal side as well. Other cold cases being probed include that of Myrisha Campbell, 3, and AJ Campbell, 1, who disappeared from the small Texas town of Goliad in 1958. The NamUs project, which was set up to make it easier for investigators, coroners, families of the missing, and the general public to solve missing-persons cases, estimates there at least 40,000 unidentified people whose remains are either in coroners' offices or were buried without being identified. (In the case of another man missing 70 years, dog tags may have just provided a big clue.)

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