Fingerprint technology used to ID body found in Iowa in 1984

An Iowa medical examiner’s office says new fingerprint technology has led to the identification of a man whose body was found in Des Moines more than 33 years ago.

The Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office says the Latent Print Unit at the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, was able this year to match a thumb print taken from the badly decomposed body. Officials on Friday said the unit called Iowa officials Thursday to say the body was that of 39-year-old John Clifton Downey.

Within hours, Iowa officials were able to find and notify Downey’s next of kin in another state.

Downey’s remains were found beneath brush along a trail in Des Moines on Feb. 28, 1984, and determined to be a homicide. The investigation into who caused his death continues.