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SBSD - Headquarters
Thursday June 1st, 2023 :: 01:16 p.m. PDT


DNA Helps Identify Decedent in 1970 Cold Case Death Investigation

DATE/TIME: Sunday, November 15, 1970, 12:30 p.m.

INCIDENT: Death Investigation 

LOCATION: Little Sandy Creek, North of San Bernardino

DECEDENT: James Hollowell Harvey, DOB: January 1, 1913   

SUMMARY: On Sunday, November 15, 1970, deputies responded to the Little Sandy Creek area, regarding skeletal remains found by a hiker.  Upon arriving, deputies confirmed the skeletal remains were human.  The skeletal remains were burned, due to a recent brush fire.  Detectives from the Specialized Investigations responded and assumed the investigation. 

An autopsy was performed on the skeletal remains, but there was no evidence of foul play or injury to the skeletal remains.  The skeletal remains were scorched post-mortem, and not associated with the cause of death.  Due to the lack of identity of the skeletal remains, and no other investigative leads, the case went cold.  

In November 2022, a bone fragment was sent to Othram Incorporated in Texas, to have DNA extracted for a comparison.  In January 2023, Othram reported the identity of two possible DNA relatives to the skeletal remains.  One relative agreed to provide a voluntary specimen of his DNA for comparison.   

On Tuesday, March 28, 2023, Cold Case investigators received notification from Othram, with the results from the relative’s DNA specimen.  Othram’s report revealed a 100% match to James Harvey’s DNA profile.  Harvey’s family was contacted and informed of the discovery.  

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Edward Hernandez, Specialized Investigations Division – Homicide Detail at (909) 890-4904. Callers can remain anonymous and contact We-Tip at 800-78CRIME or 

Refer: Detective Edward Hernandez or Sergeant Justin Giles

Station: Specialized Investigations Division – Homicide Detail

Phone No. (909) 890-4904

Case No. DR#700313698 / H#1970-03

SHANNON D. DICUS, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department

SBSD - Headquarters
655 E 3rd St
San Bernardino, CA 92408

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