Tech advancements help Norwalk police make ID in 1996 cold case

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NORWALK -

Police have finally been able to identify a man found dead off the coast of Norwalk nearly 23 years ago, and it's thanks to advancements in technology.

On April 18, 1996, a couple walking on Shea Island found the dead man washed ashore without identification. The condition of the body had made determining the cause of death and identification all but impossible. Dental records weren't able to provide a name and DNA wasn't helpful. A fingerprint search didn't work either-- until now.

Lt. Art Weisgerber says algorithms used to search fingerprint and DNA databases are continually improving, so Weisgerber requests the state crime lab run his unidentified cases every so often.

"Every now and then I would start to review these cases to see if technology has changed to do other testing," says Weisgerber.

This week, he got a match on a finger of the John Doe in this case -- Landberto Quintero.

Quintero was 24 at the time and local to Norwalk with a last known address at a homeless shelter. 

"There's very little known about him," says Weisgerber. "He was never reported missing in any of the databases."

Weisgerber says finding family will be difficult since Quintero was never reported missing.

Police are asking anyone with information on Quintero to contact Weisgerber at 203-854-3164 or aweisgerber@norwalkct.org.

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