Human remains found in Arizona over 40 years ago identified as California man

Human remains found decades ago outside of Kingman have been identified as a California man who left home in search of gold.

The Mohave County Sheriff's Office says the remains were found on Sept. 9, 1982, in the desert near Hackberry Road. Deputies who responded to the scene found multiple personal items with the remains, including a plastic comb, a can opener, fingernail clippers, a toothbrush, and several pieces of clothing.

The remains were taken to Tucson for an autopsy. The victim's death was estimated to have happened between 1979 and 1981.

For years, investigators were unable to identify the victim until a sample was sent to a laboratory in Texas last February.

"Using advanced DNA testing, Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing, and forensic genetic genealogy, they were able to identify the victim as Virgil R. Renner from Humboldt County, California," the sheriff's office said.

Renner was believed to have been born in 1910. He was never married and had no children. Investigators say he left California in the early 1970s to search for gold in Nevada, however, it's unknown how or why he ended up in Arizona.